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NEWSLETTERS & ALERTS
Email Prankster Strikes Again – This Time Tricking White House Officials
The U.K.-based email prankster who, in the span of just 3 months, has fooled an international array of financial leaders, has struck again - this time at the core of U.S. politics.
CNN - which received copies of the emails from the prankster, himself - reported Tuesday morning that the email prankster had communications threads with (i) Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, (ii) then-WH Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (twice), (iii) Ambassador to Russia-designate Jon Huntsman Jr., and finally, (iv) Eric Trump.
TOM BOSSERT. Posing as Jared Kushner, the prankster invited Bossert to an end-of-summer soiree. Bossert accepted the invite in a reply that included his personal email address.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI. Scaramucci was tricked twice – once by a fake Reince Priebus, once by a fake Jon Huntsman, Jr.
► Posing as Reince Priebus, one day after he resigned as WH Chief of Staff, the prankster had a sharply-worded exchange with Scaramucci that began with fake Priebus saying: "I had promised myself I would leave my hands mud free, but after reading your tweet today which stated how; 'soon we will learn who in the media who has class, and who hasn't', has pushed me to this. That tweet was breathtakingly hypocritical, even for you. …”
► Posing as Huntsman prior to Priebus’ resignation, the prankster asked: “Who’s (sic) head should roll first?” To which, Scaramucci responded, “Both of them” - referring to Priebus and Steve Bannon. Scaramucci then invited the fake Huntsman to visit him, if he had not yet left for Moscow.
JON HUNTSMAN, JR. Posing as Eric Trump, the prankster suggested that they could get President Trump to pose on a horse (ala Putin) after Huntsman said the Russia assignment would be “challenging but no doubt rewarding.”
ERIC TRUMP. Responding to an email from a fake brother Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump said: “I have sent this to law enforcement who will handle from here.”
Cyber experts consulted by CNN say the incidents are illustrative of how vulnerable Americans - even those in the highest reaches of power - remain to the potential threat of spear-phishing, the process through which officials are duped by hackers, and expose government computers and systems to various cyber threats.
"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."
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