Supporters of former President Donald Trump were undoubtedly horrified Wednesday morning by the apparent announcement of his sudden death by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.
That announcement was false, of course, and appears to have been the result of Trump Jr.'s Twitter/X account being briefly hacked for around a half-hour, according to Variety.
In addition to the fake news about his father's death, the hacked Trump Jr. account also posted explicit shots against President Joe Biden and others as well as other wild claims about various prominent public figures, not to mention an apparent threat against North Korea, among other things.
According to the Daily Mail, the first hacked post on Trump Jr.'s account declared, "I'm sad to announce, my father Donald Trump has passed away. I will be running for president in 2024."
That was followed shortly thereafter by another post that was "pinned" to the top of the account that said, "F--k [Joe Biden] Stupid Ass N---a."
Over about 30 minutes, numerous other posts -- all of which have since been deleted -- were made on the hacked account, including one that declared, "This just in: North Korea is about to get smoked," another that mused, "Some interesting messages with Jeffrey Epstein ...," and still another that asserted, "My dad owns you [Elon Musk] bum."
Yet another post proclaimed the innocence of a cryptocurrency influencer, Richard Heart, who is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors of millions of dollars, and stated, "When I become president I am going to burn the SEC."
The revelation that Trump Jr.'s X account was temporarily not under his control came from one of his close advisors, GOP strategist Andrew Surabian, who shared the false tweet about the former president's death and wrote, "FYI: This is obviously not true. Don's account has been hacked."
According to the Daily Mail, once Trump Jr.'s account had been restored to normal, his brother Eric Trump poked fun at the situation and said in a since-deleted post of his own, "I don't want Donald J Trump Jr to get his account back -- this is all too entertaining."
He also jokingly added in a separate post, "What was [Donald Trump Jr.] password? Don2024?"
CNN reported that Twitter/X declined to comment on the situation that, while humorous to some, nonetheless raises legitimate concerns about the social media platform's security for user accounts, particularly for high-profile individuals and especially ahead of the 2024 election season.
It more specifically raised questions about Trump Jr.'s account and whether he had enabled two-factor authentication as a security feature as well as whether his private direct messages had been accessed by whoever may have hacked the account.
Notably, this is far from the first time that the Twitter/X accounts of high-profile individuals have been hacked, such as in 2020 when hackers posing as IT support managed to briefly take over the accounts of major public figures like former President Barack Obama, billionaire Jeff Bezos, then-candidate Biden, and even future Twitter/X owner Elon Musk.
Furthermore, CNN pointed out that the platform continues to be under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over allegations raised last year by its former security chief turned whistleblower, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who claimed the platform had violated commitments first made in 2011 by insufficiently protecting the privacy of users.