Donald Trump’s Twitter account was indeed hacked in October this year after a researcher managed to crack his profile password, as confirmed by Dutch prosecutors.
On October 22, when the US Elections were in the final stages, a Dutch researcher named Victor Gevers had shared screenshots of what appeared to be inside Trump’s Twitter account. A security expert, Gevers apparently had access to Trump’s DMs and could post tweets from his account, as reported by The Guardian in October.
The White House, however, had denied reports of any such hacks back then. According to reports, Gevers had told Dutch media that Trump’s account did not even have basic security measures like a two-factor authentication. He tried to hack into the account by guessing the password and was successful in his fifth attempt. Back then, Gevers had revealed the password too - maga2020!. This refers to Trump’s election campaign, “Make America Great Again."
Having hacked into Trump’s account, Gevers also disclosed information and warned others how the account was not safe. Dutch media reported that he tagged the White House, the CIA and other agencies in order to warn them.
Following a detailed probe, Dutch investigators have revealed that Gevers will not be charged because he hacked ethically. They said that hacking is a crime in Netherlands, but special circumstances like “responsible disclosure" ( as was in Gevers’ case), prosecutors do not take the case forward.
This is actually not the first time Gevers hacked Trump’s account. The BBC reported that Gevers was among three hackers who hacked into the then-presidential candidate’s account by guessing his password.
According to a report in the Netherlands-based news portal nltimes.nl, the Dutch hackers found Trump’s password because of a 2012 LinkedIn data breach involving a database of 117 million usernames and passwords. The password ‘yourfired’ - the erroneously spelled catchphrase for Trump’s TV reality show ‘The Apprentice’ - turned out to also work on his Twitter account.
The hackers did not mean to do any harm or post anything from Trump’s account as they were “testing the security on the account, and then they reported the vulnerability to Trump and the United States government". The hackers never heard back from Trump but they did get a message from the National Cyber Security Center saying that the American government had taken up the report. “Thank you for contacting us".