Was Part Of Donald Trump's Website Hacked?

On Monday October 18, 2021, a portion of former president Donald Trump's website was hacked and replaced with a slogan and a link to a speech from the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (via CNN). The hacker targeted the "Action" subdomain of Trump's site, writing, "Do not be like those who forgot Allah, so Allah made them forget themselves," with the link to the Erdogan speech pasted below it. This type of hacking, in which a hacker replaces a website's content with their own, is reportedly known as "defacement," and doesn't typically require advanced systems.

Along with the slogan and the speech, the website also featured the message "Hacked by RootAyyildiz" (via Forbes). While the identity of RootAyyildiz has yet to be confirmed, there is some information known about the hacker, as they similarly defaced Trump's website earlier this month, on October 9, 2021. In a message to Forbes from a Facebook page linked to the hacker, they claimed to be a 19-year-old "hacktivist," and explained that they targeted Trump's site over the former president's "anti-Turkey and anti-Islam" sentiments.

Hackers have been a problem for major US entities

This certainly isn't the first time that former president Donald Trump has been targeted by hackers. A group of hackers defaced Trump's website in late October 2020, displaying claims on the site that they had classified, disparaging information on the former president (via Forbes). The claims were later confirmed to be unfounded, and no evidence supporting the hackers was found.

Trump has not been the only target of "hacktivists" in recent years. In fact, it seems that the 19-year-old "hacktivist" RootAyyildiz, who defaced Trump's website on October 18, 2021, was responsible for also compromising President Joe Biden's campaign website just after he was elected in November 2020 (via CNN). In a National Intelligence Council report from March 2021, the hacking of Biden's campaign site was one of a "handful of unsuccessful hacktivist attempts to influence or interfere in the 2020 US elections." Pro-Turkish hackers have targeted United States political giants since the relationship between the two countries has strained, such as when hackers took over several American journalists' Twitter accounts in 2018.