Hacker Appears To Deface Part Of Trump’s Website

The website of former President Donald Trump was hacked Monday by a purported pro–Turkey hacktivist. This attack comes roughly one year after cyber-vandals attacked the campaign sites of Trump and Bidens. It is just the latest in a series that has targeted American political entities and businesses.

Donald Trump watches as South Korean President Moon Jae In looks on at him during his meeting in the Oval... [+] Office of the White House, June 30, 2017. Getty Images

The Key Facts

The Action section of Trumps website had an earlier Monday video of Turkish President Recep Takyip Erdogan. It also featured the message Hacked By RootAyyildiz, and links to Facebook pages and Instagram pages that contained references to Erdogan and Turkey. By Monday afternoon, all references to Turkey were removed, and action.donaldjtrump.com redirected to the homepage of Trumps website. According to archived pages, Trump's website was first defaced with references made to RootAyyildiz in October. RootAyyildiz's identity isn't clear. However, a Forbes message from a Facebook account linked to the defaced website claimed that RootAyyildiz was a 19-year old hacktivist from Turkey, who targeted Trumps website three months ago in protest of the United States' anti-Turkish and anti-Islam stances. Trump's office didn't immediately respond to a request.

Surprising Fact

Hackers claimed that they had classified information discrediting Trump's campaign website, but there was no evidence. Website defacement can be a low-grade tactic and is often used by unskilled hackers to find security vulnerabilities. According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,

Important Background

Turkey is a NATO member and hackers who support Turkey have attacked U.S. institutions in the past. In mid-November, a portion of Biden's campaign website was compromised with references to Turkey or RootAyyildiz. In a March report on foreign interference, the U.S. National Intelligence Council seemed to refer to this incident. The report claimed that Turkish nationalists had defaced a website for a presidential candidate. However, the federal report did not indicate that the Turkish government was involved in the hack. CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm, said that pro-Turkey hackers also seized control of several American journalists' Twitter accounts in 2018.


In recent years, American organizations have been the victims of a slew of cyberattacks and online influence operation. U.S. intelligence agencies claim that Russia used state news outlets and social media to spread discord and influence the 2020 presidential election in Trump's favor. This is after Russian-linked hackers were accused of a 2016 hacking attack on the Democratic National Committees network. Russian-based groups were also blamed for hacking attacks on a major U.S. pipeline that supplies beef to large producers and several U.S. government departments in the past year. Although the Russian government denies any involvement in hacking campaigns, some experts believe that these attacks were carried out with tacit support.

Continue reading

These Are Some of the Major Hacks The U.S. Has Employed. Russia was blamed for the last year (Forbes).