Hacker Defaces Donald Trump's Website

The hacker posted a nationalistic video from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
October 18, 2021, 4:44pm
Defacement of Trump website
Image: M
Screen Shot 2021-02-24 at 3
Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard's podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.

Hackers allegedly from Turkey have defaced a section of Donald Trump's website.

"Do not be like those who forget Allah, so Allah made them forget themselves. Here they really went astray," a part of the defacement, which says it was allegedly carried out by someone calling themselves RootAyyildiz, reads. The page includes an embed of a nationalist YouTube video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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The defacement impacts the "action" subdomain of the website, which is ordinarily used by the Trump campaign for calls to action, such as petitions or asking the campaign a question.

Do you know anything else about this hack? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email joseph.cox@vice.com.

Defacements are often but not exclusively carried out by lower skilled hackers, who may find a way to change content on a particular part of a site. RootAyyildiz appears to have targeted other sites in the past too.

"Defaced By RootAyyıldız · Turkish And Muslim Defacer · you and a lot of american politicians from joe, you are all a Zionist dog, you are all unjust anti-human," a cached message on another site hosted on Github reads.

On their Facebook profile, RootAyyildiz has a logo that reads "He is a Turkish Defacer."

RootAyyildiz told Motherboard in a Facebook message that they defaced the Trump site using Server Side Template Injection (SSTI), which is a technique where an attacker can put their own arbitrary code into a site's template. They said they had control over that part of the site for 3 months.

“There are many areas of hacking attacks, for example, hacking social media accounts or websites, I am a hacktivist and I have been working on websites for a long time and I choose this management to have my voice heard,” they added.

Donald Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: This piece has been updated to include comment from RootAyyildiz.

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