The Trump Organization dismissed the domain names were ever Hacked. But a review of internet credentials by the AP and cybersecurity specialists shows otherwise. And it was not until this past week, after the Trump tents were asked about it by the AP, that the last of the tampered-with directions were repaired.
After the hack, computer users who attended the Trump-related addresses were unconsciously redirected to servers in St. Petersburg, Russia, that cybersecurity experts said held malicious software usually used to steal passwords or hold files for ransom. Whether anyone fell victim to so tactics is unclear.
A further puzzle is who the hackers were and why they did it.
The discovery signifies a new twist in the Russian hacking story, which up to now has centered mostly on what U.S. intelligence officials say was a battle by the Kremlin to try to undermine Democrat Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and benefit Trump’s.
It is not identified whether the hackers who tampered with the Trump addresses are the same ones who stole Liberal officials’ emails and hindered the party in the heat of the campaign last year. Nor is it clear whether the hackers were appearing on behalf of the Russian government.
The affected addresses, or domain names, included donaldtrump.org, donaldtrumpexecutiveoffice.com, donaldtrumprealty.com and barrontrump.com. They were jeopardized in two waves of attacks in August and September 2013, according to the review of internet records.
Many of the addresses were not happening or being used by Trump. Businesses and public figures usually buy addresses for possible future use or to restrict them from falling into the hands of rivals or enemies. The Trump Organization and its affiliates own at least 3,300 in all.
According to confidence experts, the hackers hijacked the addresses by comprehending and altering the domain enrollment records housed at GoDaddy.com, a seller of web addresses.
Accounts at GoDaddy, like at any site that requires a username and password, are often subject to hateful messages known as phishing attacks, which are planned to trick people to reveal that personal data to hackers.
Computer users who subscribed or clicked on one of those Trump addresses apparently would have had no idea they were redirected to servers in Russia.