The AMERICAN President-elect, Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, united states, Jan. 11, 2017. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
President-elect Donald Trump may have turned his Twitter account into a powerful political weapon, but experts warn that hackers can potentially use the same account for destruction of the White House.
Trump will continue with his @realDonaldTrump account when he comes to, he told The Times of London in an interview Monday. Trump, who has 20.1 million Twitter followers, said that he did not personally take over the @POTUS government account that is used by President Obama.
Attackers are likely to have a look at the @realDonaldTrump account, according to experts. “I think that there are people who do their best to try to hack his account,” a social media expert and President of JRM Comm, Jason Mollica, told FoxNews.com. “It would not surprise me in the least to see how people try to hack him – with his team in the White House will have to be very vigilant to ensure that that does not happen on their watch.”
“Hackers can lead to big scandals or major international issues as they just posted a message,” said Evan Blair, co-founder and chief business officer of social media cybersecurity company ZeroFOX. “If the bill were ever to be compromised, we can for military tensions flare up, we could be civil unrest.”
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Blair said FoxNews.com that something so simple as an Asset to clicking on a link in a Twitter feed via his Android phone, could possibly open the door for hackers. “All you need is a click,” he said. “If he clicks on a malicious link, malware can on his phone.”
Trump’s Twitter account has already been hacked, albeit briefly, in 2013, when an unknown attacker tweeted out an offensive lyrics of rapper Lil’ Wayne. “My Twitter has been seriously hacked—and we are looking for the perpetrators,” tweeted Trump, in response to the incident.
My Twitter has been seriously hacked— and we are looking for the perpetrators.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2013
Other high-profile figures whose Twitter accounts have been hacked are singer Katy Perry, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (facebook, and Twitter chief Jack Dorsey. Companies Sony and Netflix have also seen their Twitter accounts hacked recently.
Even the U.S. army has been the victim of social media hackers. In 2015, the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were briefly taken over, which the military to tighten its social media password security.
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Trump’s transition team has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story FoxNews.com so it is not clear how exactly they plan to ensure the protection of the 45th President of hackers.
ZeroFOX’s Blair thinks that Trump’s team can make use of specialized management software to keep your Twitter account locked, so that only the tweets of a specific device are allowed. The software can also harness multi-factor authentication and even use location-based security controls, according to Blair.
Multi-factor authentication uses a combination of passwords, personal data, and the installation of the device check.
In addition, Blair says that a “peer review” component can be built into the software, giving the President-elect’s team to ensure that the tweet was posted by Trump himself.
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“It is a matter of his team with the help of the right platform,” said Mollica, noting that a constant monitoring of the emerging hacking threats will also be essential. “It is a twenty-four/seven, three-hundred-and-sixty-five [day] proposition — if the administration does not take it seriously, we are going to see hackers get in and do some damage,” he said.
The White House announced the digital transition plan for the past year the Presidential election. The @POTUS account will be available for the 45th President on Jan. 20 with a tweet-free timeline. The account will keep all his followers, according to a White House blog post.
President Obama began tweeting from @POTUS in June 2015 and the account is made up 13.5 million followers. The outgoing President also has the @barackobama account, which is carried out by staff of his Organizing for Action campaign group, and has an 80.6 million followers.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers