WASHINGTON. Four years ago, long before the scandal over allegations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election in which Donald Trump came to the White House, at least 195 websites of the tycoon, his family or his business empire were kidnapped by hackers who possibly maneuvered from Russia, The Associated Press discovered.
The Trump Organization denied that the domain names have been violated, but an investigation of the Internet files by the PA and experts in cybersecurity shows the opposite. It was not until days ago, after the PA consulted the Trump Organization about it, that the last affected address was repaired.
After the hack, users who visited Trump-related addresses were unknowingly channeled to servers in St. Petersburg, Russia, which according to experts in cyber security contained a computer program that is usually used to steal passwords or retain files in exchange for payment. of a rescue.
It is unknown if someone was a victim of these tactics. Another unsolved mystery is who the cyber pirates were and why they did it.
The discovery represents a new twist in the history of Russian hackers, which so far has focused mainly on what US intelligence officials point out was an attempt by the Kremlin to undermine the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton and benefit Trump’s. .
It is unknown if the hackers who attacked Trump’s addresses are the same ones who stole the mails from Democratic officials and whose dissemination left that party badly left in the heat of the presidential campaign last year.
It is also unclear if the cyber pirates acted on behalf of the Russian government. Addresses, or domain names, affected include donaldtrump.org, donaldtrumpexecutiveoffice.com, donaldtrumprealty.com and barrontrump.com. These sites were breached in two waves of attacks in August and September 2013, according to the Internet archives investigation.
The attacks occurred when Trump was preparing to travel to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, held on November 9, 2013 on a property owned by a wealthy Russian real estate entrepreneur. Many of the addresses were not being used by Trump.
It is common for companies and celebrities to buy domains for possible future use or to prevent them from falling into the hands of competitors or enemies.