Application security, Network Security

Researcher buys URLs in old Trump tweets, redirects them to videos lampooning president

A security researcher has purchased the expired domains of web pages whose links were posted in old tweets from Donald Trump, and redirected them to satirical videos that mock the U.S. president, The Verge reported on Friday.

Belgian hacker Inti De Ceukelaire claimed responsibility, explaining that he wanted to demonstrate the security threat of expired domains, while at the same time avenging unflattering comments that Trump previously made about Brussels.

One tweet that was supposed to link to a conference's website instead displays an original, embedded YouTube video that pokes fun of Trump's public stance toward Russia and his alleged sexual exploits with Russian women. After redirecting the old conference URL to his self-made video, De Ceukelaire used Twitter's card validator tool to re-scan the URL and update the tweet with the embedded satirical content, according to The Verge.

This technique "could be a great tool to spread malware or fake news," De Ceukelaire told SC Media via Twitter. "Best thing? The altered tweet wouldn't even stand out from the more than 35k Trump Tweets containing 'alternative facts.' If Trump can cause worldwide consequences with less than 140 characters, other people can too."

De Ceukelaire bought four available domains, but the report also noted that additional actors have since bought even more expired URLs found in past Trump tweets.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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