Last Updated on 22/11/2021 by Sunaina
On Monday, someone hacked into and momentarily vandalized former President Donald Trump’s website, strangely inserting a YouTube video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan into one of the site’s pages.
The defacement, which appeared on the site’s “Action” subdomain, featured the message: “Do not be like those who forgot Allah, so Allah made them forget themselves.” CNN reports that Erdogan’s video, in which the controversial Turkish leader is seen analysing Quran verses, was also included on the page. It’s rather strange.
The hack is believed to have been carried out by a self-described “hacktivist” known as “RootAyyildiz.” On Monday, the hacker confirmed to Vice News that they were responsible for the intrusion, saying that they entered the page using a Server Side Template Injection, or SSTI—a type of vulnerability that allows for remote code execution.
Trump created the site targeted by “Root” in May, not long after he left office. At the time, the former President had lately been barred from almost all major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). As a result, Trump was looking for a voice and wanted to build his own platform where he could publish whatever he wanted. However, once the site opened and failed to generate the hoped-for level of attention, the former president discreetly withdrew active editorial activities for it, and the site is now just a hollowed-out campaign shell for a person who is no longer actively participating in politics.
Surprisingly, the same hacker who hit Trump’s site appears to have claimed responsibility for a November breach on Joe Biden’s campaign website. During that instance, hackers using the same “RootAyyildiz” alias hacked the then-political candidate’s website by carving a number of remarks into the site that appeared to relate to American meddling in Turkish politics. According to a report issued by the National Intelligence Council in March, the previous incident was “hacktivist” in character, with the goal of propagating “Turkish nationalist ideas.”