A popular Facebook page dedicated to supporting Donald Trump was hijacked by Pakistani hackers and used to post anti-Trump propaganda just days after the U.S. announced a freeze on foreign aid to the Islamic regime.
‘God Emperor Trump’ became one of the most well-known meme pages during the 2016 presidential election, and had amassed over 320,000 followers before the account was stolen by cyber thieves and immediately put up for sale by a user located in Pakistan who advertised the page’s analytics and a price tag of 300,000 rupees (~$2,700) to prospective buyers on Facebook and a Pakistani website.
The creator and associated administrators of God Emperor Trump (GET) were immediately blocked from accessing the account, and shortly after, whomever had seized control began posting links to click bait articles disparaging the President, First Lady, and Trump supporters – some of which were deleted after followers of the page began warning in comments that the page had been hacked.
The hack itself seems to have been enabled by a potential security flaw in Facebook’s own system, however the social media giant has thus far offered little assistance in response to multiple claims filed by GET’s admins, who have also notified the FBI, state attorney’s office, and local law enforcement.
“God Emperor Trump was hacked and stolen using a sophisticated phishing scam that utilized Facebook’s own servers on the afternoon of January 8,” wrote GET’s admins in an official press release. “We believe this phishing scam was only possible because of a security vulnerability in Facebook’s website.”
“While responding to a business inquiry from someone claiming to represent the Facebook page of ‘Born Realist’ (a page with 3.2 million likes), they directed me to create a Facebook Business Manager account, providing a link at the same time. This website was identical to the Facebook Business page; all of us had no reason to believe we were being deceived.”
The link provided by the alleged representative of Born Realist – a social media marketing company – was an extension of a URL for Facebook’s Business Manager, which enables companies and their clients to streamline access to a given project and its related materials.
Interestingly, Born Realist is based in Pakistan, but the correlation could be coincidental.
President Trump began 2018 by unloading on the Pakistani government on Twitter, and his administration later suspended approximately $2 billion in military aid to Islamabad.
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”