On each day of his presidency, Donald Trump has somehow seemed to surpass his previously sky-high levels of ineptitude, so we really shouldn't be surprised when we hear the latest in his boneheaded moves. Like, the fact that passwords for his personal accounts are extremely easily hackable doesn’t exactly come as a shock — although, the actual passwords he used sound like the kind of joke Saturday Night Live writers came up with (that is, obvious and not all that funny). How do we know his passwords for sure? Well, four years ago, a Dutch hacker named Victor Gevers logged into Trump’s Twitter account by guessing the password “yourefired,” and then, just a few months ago, the hacker did it again.
Gevers accurately guessed Trump’s Twitter password again in October. This time, the password was, uh, maga2020!, and he was able to get in after only five tries. On October 22, Gevers shared screenshots from inside of Trump’s account. That same day, he tweeted from his own account: “It started six years ago. And hopefully, it will be the last time in 2020. Please switch on two-factor authentication on all of your accounts.” At this point, anyone who thinks Trump has put on a boorish act to hide his evil genius is totally wrong — no genius detected, just evil.
As a cybersecurity researcher, Gevers explained to prosecutors that he was looking for security issues in important accounts prior to the 2020 presidential election. Dutch prosecutors have now confirmed that Gevers hacked into Trump’s account despite denials from Washington and Twitter itself. And although hacking is considered a criminal offense in the Netherlands, the hacker is not currently facing charge — instead, the government has recognized him as an ethical hacker. “We believe the hacker has actually penetrated Trump’s Twitter account, but has met the criteria that have been developed in case law to go free as an ethical hacker,” says the public prosecutor’s office.
According to Gevers, the fact that it was so easy to get into the president’s account alerted him that Trump wasn’t using even the basic security measures that he should have been — like two-step verification. “I expected to be blocked after four failed attempts. Or at least would be asked to provide additional information,” Gevers told a Dutch newspaper. After gaining access to the account with so little trouble, he also tweeted at Trump’s team to notify them that they need to be taking better security measures. The next day, two-factor authentication was enabled.
While Trump will be leaving office soon and will no longer have access to information about our national security, it’s unlikely that his last two brain cells will become any more capable of coming up with better passwords to protect his accounts. Perhaps then, as a parting gift, someone at the White House should help him come up with a list of more secure choices — literally, 1234 might be harder to guess.