Paul Manafort referenced James Bond in online passwords: Reports
One of two former Trump campaign officials charged Monday with being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal referenced Britain’s most famous secret agent in his internet passwords, according to security researchers.
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, used variations of “Bond007” to safeguard his old Dropbox and Adobe accounts, several researchers said Monday.
The Dropbox and Adobe accounts were among those affected by site-wide data breaches suffered in 2012 and 2013, respectively, but reports linking them to Mr. Manafort only emerged after he was charged alongside with his business associate Richard Gates on Monday. Both men were charged with 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, among others.
An email account used by Mr. Manafort, email@example.com, was publicized earlier this year after his daughter’s cell phone was hacked and its contents leaked online. That same address is associated with Dropbox and Adobe accounts compromised by the data breaches, according to HaveIBeenPwned.com, a website that allows potential hacking victims to see if their accounts have affected by major hacks.
Several security researchers scoured publicly available copies of the hacked Dropbox and Adobe data on Monday and were able to determine that the accounts linked to Mr. Manafort’s email address had been protected with variations of the password “Bond007,” an obvious homage to Ian Fleming’s fictional spy character James Bond, British Secret Service agent No. 007.
A Twitter user known as “zedster” was among the first to reveal Mr. Manafort’s passwords Monday morning. “The Grugq,” a renowned pseudonymous operational security expert, subsequently confirmed their finding, as did others.
Dropbox announced last year that details pertaining to over 60 million accounts had been compromised as the result of a 2012 data breach. Adobe, meanwhile, suffered a data breach in 2013 impacting about 130 million accounts.
Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates each pleaded not guilty to all counts Monday in D.C. federal court. Both men were charged by a grand jury impaneled by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and related matters.