A British “email prankster” carried on conversations with multiple White House officials after convincing them he was other members of the Donald Trump administration, reported CNN.
Homeland Security Adviser (who is in charge of cyber security), Tom Bossert, was tricked by a fake Jared Kushner into accepting an invitation to a party and sending not-Jared Kushner his personal email address.
“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the fake Jared Kushner on an Outlook account wrote to the official White House email account of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. “It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible (sic) quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”
Bossert wrote back: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is” (redacted).
One exchange between departed White House Communications Directory Anthony Scaramucci and a fake Reince Preibus even played into the public feud brewing between the men.
“I can’t believe you are questioning my ethics!” Fake Priebus wrote to Scaramucci. “The so called ‘Mooch’, who can’t even manage his first week in the White House without leaving upset in his wake. I have nothing to apologize for.”
“Read Shakespeare. Particularly Othello,” Scaramucci responded. “You are right there. My family is fine by the way and will thrive. I know what you did. No more replies from me.”
Eric Trump was also among the individuals tricked by the prankster, who promised CNN he tries to “keep it on the humorous side of things.”
“I’m not trying to get the keys to the vault or anything like that,” the prankster said.
The White House said they are investigating the prank. “We take all cyber related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further,” Sarah Huckabee.
“This shows how susceptible government officials are to spear-phishing in general,” Adam Malone, a former cyber specialist and special agent for the FBI, told CNN. “Spear-phishing is the most common technique used by hackers to gain access to their victims. This information shines a light on how easy it is for people to build trust with unverified individuals.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)