Dutch prosecutors have confirmed that Donald Trump’s Twitter account was hacked in October in defiance of Washington and company denials, but said he would not face “ethical hacker” charges.
According to Dutch media reports, the hacker, nicknamed Victor Jewers, broke into @realDonaldTrump’s Trump account on October 16, guessing the US president’s password.
Both the White House and Twitter have strongly denied reports that the account has been hacked.
The 44-year-old Jewers immediately revealed the hack, which he guessed was the password for “Maca 2020!” Trump refers to the slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
The Office of the Attorney General (OpenPar Minister) said: “We believe the hacker actually hacked into Trump’s Twitter account, but we have met the criteria set out in the case law to go free as an ethical hacker.”
It added that hacking was a criminal offense in the Netherlands. But it said “special circumstances”, also referred to in practice as “responsible expression”, could prevent prosecutors from taking action.
The Dutch lawyers made their findings based on an investigation by a cyber unit of a police expert known as the Dutch High Tech Crime.
“Both hackers and U.S. officials have been notified of the outcome of the investigation,” prosecutors said.
When news of the hack first broke, Geverz told Volskrant that the president did not use basic security measures such as ease of access to Trump’s account and two-step verification.
“I expect to be blocked after four failed attempts. Or at least asked to provide more information,” he told the Dutch newspaper.
He told the Jewers newspaper that he had tried to alert U.S. officials and eventually contacted the Secret Service, thanking them for bringing the security breach to their attention.
This is not the first time Jeeves has accessed the president’s Twitter account: in 2016 he and two others guessed Trump’s password, at which point it was “you updated” – the reality TV The Apprentice’s catchphrase.