President Trump’s marketing campaign web site was briefly taken over by hackers who defaced the location on Tuesday.
The defacement lasted lower than 30 minutes, however the incident got here as Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign and that of his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., in addition to regulation enforcement and intelligence companies, have been on excessive alert for digital interference forward of subsequent week’s election.
In a press release, Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump marketing campaign, confirmed the web site’s defacement and stated it was “working with regulation enforcement authorities to analyze the supply of the assault.” He added, “There was no publicity to delicate knowledge as a result of none of it’s truly saved on the location. The web site has been restored.”
The F.B.I. didn’t instantly touch upon the incident. The defacement was first famous on Twitter by Gabriel Lorenzo Greschler, a journalist on the Jewish Information of Northern California, whereas researching an article on local weather change.
It was not clear whether or not the defacement was the work of overseas hackers or cybercriminals. However in a screed posted to Mr. Trump’s web site — donaldjtrump.com — the hackers claimed to have compromised “a number of units” that gave them entry to the president and his family “most inner and secret conversations,” together with labeled data.
The hackers additionally accused the Trump administration, with out proof, of getting a hand within the origins of the coronavirus and cooperating with “overseas actors manipulating the 2020 elections.”
The hackers gave the impression to be trying to generate cryptocurrency. They invited guests to donate cryptocurrency to one in all two funds — one labeled “Sure, share the information,” the opposite labeled “No, Don’t share the information.” They solicited funds in Monero, a hard-to-trace cryptocurrency.
“After the deadline, we’ll examine the funds and execute the desire of the world,” they wrote, with out specifying a deadline. The hackers additionally posted what they stated was their encryption key, ostensibly to confirm that no matter data they posted got here from them. The important thing corresponded to an e-mail handle at a nonexistent web website.
Although the defacement gave the impression to be a part of a standard cryptocurrency rip-off to get individuals to irreversibly donate cash on-line, the incident took on added urgency one week earlier than the election. Cybersecurity specialists stated that the incident may have been brought on by tricking a web site administrator into turning over their credentials, in what is called a phishing assault, or by redirecting the marketing campaign web site to the hacker’s personal server.
Intelligence companies have been carefully monitoring hacking teams, together with groups backed by Iran and Russia, which have tried to interrupt into election-related programs and have been concerned in affect operations in latest weeks.
Final week, John Ratcliffe, the director of nationwide intelligence, identified Iran and Russia as two nations responsible for disinformation and some limited intrusions into voter registration databases.
He cited threatening emails, ostensibly from the far-right group the Proud Boys, that were sent to voters in Florida and elsewhere. But the emails relied on publicly-available information; no hacking was necessary. And they were written in broken English — as was the defaced Trump website.
Last week, Mr. Trump told a campaign rally in Tucson, Ariz., “Nobody gets hacked. To get hacked you need somebody with 197 I.Q. and he needs about 15 percent of your password.”
Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman and David E. Sanger contributed reporting.