c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Donald Trump Jr.'s X Account Falls Victim to Sophisticated Hack
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Donald Trump Jr.'s X Account Falls Victim to Sophisticated Hack

(Photo:Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

A representative for the former President Donald Trump confirmed on Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr.'s account on X, formerly known as Twitter, had been hacked. Andrew Surabian, the spokesman, took to X to announce that Don's account had been compromised and clarified that a post claiming the former president's death was false.

During the hacking incident, the compromised account made a series of bizarre and unpredictable posts. One of them falsely declared that Trump Jr. would be running for president himself. This post quickly gained traction on X, with over 1,000 shares and hundreds of thousands of views in a matter of minutes. Another post seemed to contain a threat towards North Korea, while a pinned post on the account used a racist epithet to insult President Joe Biden.

Approximately thirty minutes after the posts appeared, they were promptly taken down. This incident has raised concerns about X's ability to secure user accounts, especially those belonging to prominent political figures, as the platform approaches the 2024 elections. X announced in August that it would be bolstering its safety and election teams after significant layoffs last year, which led to an 80% reduction in the company's workforce, according to owner Elon Musk.

It remains uncertain whether the breach may have allowed unauthorized access to Trump Jr.'s private direct messages or if he had enabled two-factor authentication on his account.

The Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating X's ability to protect user privacy and whether it violated binding commitments made in 2011 regarding platform security. The investigation was initiated after the company's former security chief, Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, filed a whistleblower disclosure last year, alleging widespread and unaddressed security vulnerabilities.

This incident is not the first time that high-profile accounts on X have been targeted. In 2020, hackers infiltrated accounts belonging to former President Barack Obama, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and others by posing as Twitter's IT support. Twitter later admitted that the hackers had potentially accessed private messages during the breach.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate recently discovered that X Corp. had failed to take action on 99% of hate posts by Twitter Blue subscribers. The research group raised concerns about whether the platform's algorithm amplifies "toxic tweets." In response, X has filed a lawsuit against the nonprofit organization.

In other recent news, Elon Musk, the owner of X, hinted at the possibility of implementing a fee for users on the platform to combat fake accounts. During a panel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk suggested that implementing a small monthly payment for using X might help in combating the proliferation of bot armies. He clarified that the fee would likely be only a few dollars.


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