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 legislation enforcement and intelligence businesses, 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 mentioned it was “working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack.” He added, “There was no exposure to sensitive data because none of it is actually stored on the site. The website 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 News of Northern California, whereas he was researching an article on local weather change.
It was not clear whether or not the defacement was the work of international hackers or cybercriminals. But in a screed posted to Mr. Trump’s web site — donaldjtrump.com — the hackers claimed to have compromised “multiple devices” that gave them entry to the “most internal and secret conversations” of the president and his relations, 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 “foreign actors manipulating the 2020 elections.”
The hackers gave the impression to be seeking to generate cryptocurrency. They invited guests to donate cryptocurrency to one in all two funds — one labeled “Yes, share the data,” the opposite labeled “No, Do not share the data.” They solicited funds in Monero, a hard-to-trace cryptocurrency.
“After the deadline, we will compare the funds and execute the will of the world,” they wrote, with out specifying a deadline. The hackers additionally posted what they mentioned was their encryption key, ostensibly to confirm that no matter data they posted got here from them. The key corresponded to an electronic mail tackle at a nonexistent web web site.
Though 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 consultants mentioned that the incident might have been prompted 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 businesses have been carefully monitoring hacking teams, together with groups backed by Iran and Russia, which have tried to interrupt into election-related techniques and have been concerned in affect operations in current weeks.
Last 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.