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Prosecutors Say 'Ethical Hacker' Guessed Trump Password

It took him seven tries to guess 'maga2020!'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2020 2:37 PM CST

(Newser) – Despite denials from the White House, prosecutors have determined that Dutch cybersecurity researcher Victor Gevers successfully hacked into President Trump's Twitter account weeks before the election—but they've decided he shouldn't be punished. Dutch prosecutors said Wednesday that Gevers acted "ethically" when he guessed President Trump's password during what he described as a routine sweep of the Twitter accounts of candidates, the BBC reports. In October, Gevers told RTL that he correctly guessed Trump's password on his seventh attempt, when he tried "maga2020!" Gevers, who has reported thousands of other data leaks and vulnerabilities, said he notified police and US authorities immediately.

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He said he was shocked that Trump didn't have two-factor authentication. "I thought 'oh god' when I logged in," Gever said. "I just don't want me to be able to get in, especially not with such an important account." Prosecutors said Wednesday that an investigation by a police cybercrime unit found that Gevers was telling the truth, but "he met the criteria that have been developed in case law to go free as an ethical hacker," AFP reports. Twitter said it had seen "no evidence to corroborate this claim." Gevers, chair of the Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure, said earlier this year that he was among researchers who correctly guessed in 2016 that Trump's password was "yourefired," the BBC notes. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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