According to the President of the United States, hackers have 197 IQs and must have 15% of their victim’s passwords to be successful. This is also why “nobody gets hacked”. This statement is obviously false, but hides a dangerous speech, which undermines a very real threat which concerns everyone.
Once again, the president of the world’s largest power, Donald Trump, made a noticeable media outlet during a campaign rally in Arizona on October 19,
Donald’s next job could be in cyber.
(He just doesn’t know it yet)
– Graham Cluley (@gcluley) October 20, 2020
“”, Asserts the outgoing presidential candidate confidently.
The talk is rude and has sparked hilarity in the cybersecurity industry. But perhaps it is taken out of context? We leave it to you to judge: the president welcomed the recent dismissal of political journalist Steve Scully, figure of the television channel C-Span. He had been appointed by the Presidential Debates Committee to moderate one of the televised debates between candidates Trump and Biden on Thursday, October 15.
Repeatedly attacked on Twitter by the president, the journalist split on October 8 from an annoyed tweet, sent to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, asking if he should respond to Donald Trump. Quickly, this message, deemed too aggressive, was erected by the president and his supporters as a symbol of Scully’s supposed impartiality. Faced with the controversy, the journalist lied, saying that his account Twitter had been hacked, so he hadn’t sent the message himself. He maintained this version of events for several days, supported by the channel, before publicly admitting his lie, and being arrested by C-Span.
I was right again! Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from @cspan indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the “Commission”. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2020
The president rejoiced at this revelation, which supports a speech in which he would be disadvantaged by the media. And besides, it’s proof that he, Donald Trump, was certain that Scully had not been hacked, because he knows how to work.
Everyone gets hacked (starting with Donald Trump)
As soon as the politician has said that no one gets hacked, the American press is pulling out its old files. Techcrunch recalls that the president’s hotel chain has been hacked twice, the first between 2014 and 2015, the second between 2016 and 2017. And we are not talking about small leaks with a few names and email addresses.
The hotel chain was legally forced to disclose, as in both cases, customers’ credit card information (from owner’s name to 3-digit CVV code) was exposed. The second leak, which the group attributes to a booking service provider, also contained emails, phone numbers and other personal information from customers at 14 hotels. The exact number of victims of the leak is not public, but it would be at least of the order of a hundred, more likely of a thousand or even ten thousand individuals.
Forbes, for his part, unearthed a tweet that Donald Trump had sent in 2013, in which he said that his account Twitter had been ” “. The famous @realDonaldTrump had posted lyrics to the song by will.i.am.
My Twitter has been seriously hacked— and we are looking for the perpetrators.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2013
And that’s not all ! One of the president’s passwords, “yourefired” (“tu es viré” in French), is part of the gigantic LinkedIn leak perpetrated in 2012 and available for free on several hacker forums since 2016. Earlier this year, Cybercriminals have auctioned off supposedly confidential files about the President of the United States.
In short: Donald Trump is familiar with hacking stories. Moreover, as President of the United States, he is particularly exposed to it during this election period. US intelligence is worried about foreign interference attempts, while the campaign teams of the two candidates must already contain hacking attempts.
Anyone can hack (and that’s a problem)
As you can imagine, you don’t need to have 197 IQs, nor to be a man, nor to have 15% of the victim’s passwords to hack someone, as the President. Besides, no need to wear a hoodie either, or to type very quickly on a keyboard, or to do it in complete darkness.
Yes, there is a battle of a high level of technicality, between criminals always better armed in human and material resources and defenders who must somehow protect increasingly complex networks. The best hackers are cunning, and they will always look for a way to break into a system, since absolute security does not exist.
But today, any Sunday hacker can try phishing or other basic methods. Hacking is not always technical, and sometimes you just need to convince your victim with the right words, and get the right information. A simple computer, even if not very powerful, will make it possible to launch cyber attacks.
On the other side of the spectrum, anyone can be affected, even the best educated in cybersecurity issues. A moment of inattention, an emergency situation, a long day full of emotions, and we fall into a seemingly crude trap, which will be obvious in hindsight.
This is why Trump’s words are almost dangerous, so much so that they underestimate a very real threat. It is therefore good to remember that the risks of hacking should never be overlooked, and that no one is out of reach, not even a famous journalist or the President of the United States.