With just a week to go until the election, President Donald Trump's campaign website was briefly hacked Tuesday evening. The hackers, who have not been identified, emulated the FBI and the Department of Justice and took over parts of Donaldjtrump.com site, including the "About" page, where an anti-Trump message and a scam to collect cryptocurrency were displayed.
Declaring that "this site was seized," a message that briefly appeared on the campaign website said the world had "had enough" of the "fake news" spread by Trump and said, "it is time to allow the world to know the truth." Appearing alongside the seals of the FBI and Department of Justice, the hackers claimed to have compromised devices belonging to the president and his family and information that "discredits" the president.
Trump campaign website now seems to be down. This is part of the message that was showing on the site just a few minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/TR9GnpcMLb— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) October 27, 2020
"We have evidence that completely discredits Mr. Trump as a president. Proving his criminal involvement and cooperation with foreign actors manipulating the 2020 elections," the page read, also alleging that it had information on the origins of the coronavirus. "U.S. citizens have no choice. Today is the day – the whole world can decide if they want to know the truth or not."
Below the message, the hackers shared two addresses linked to the cryptocurrency Monero, which CBS News notes "are difficult to track, making it a favorite cryptocurrency among those seeking to protect their anonymity, including scammers seeking to convince people to send them unrecoverable money." It has also been associated with ransomware attacks and Dark Web illicit markets. The hackers asked for money to be deposited in either of two accounts – one labeled "Yes" for those who wished for the "strictly classified information" to be released, and the second labeled "No" for those wanting it kept secret.
According to NBC News, the site went offline after just a few minutes was restored without the hacked message shortly after. In a statement, Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's spokesman, said the "website was defaced and we are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack." He added that there "was no exposure to sensitive data because none of it is actually stored on the site. The website has been restored."