Throughout the entirety of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Trump camp never failed to point out that while serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used a private email server. The emails exchanged on that private server dogged Clinton throughout the campaign. There are those who argue that had FBI director James Comey not made another announcement about Clinton's emails a week before the election, she might have won the electoral college like she did the popular vote.
Despite vilifying Clinton for her lack of cybersecurity awareness, the Trump administration has \trumped\" her in their own lackluster cybersecurity education. Trump's @POTUS Twitter handle was attached to a private gmail account, and though it has since been adjusted, it's been learned that Trump's administration staffers had active accounts on the RNC's private email server, which like the DNC server had been breached by Russian hackers.
How can the American public trust in the Trump administration's cybersecurity policies when all evidence suggests they don't have a clear understanding of what cybersecurity is?
The Pot Calling the Kettle Black
Twitter has been Mr. Trump's go-to communication tool for some years, and though the public had hoped he would take a break from it once he moved into the White House, they were quick to learn Twitter Trump was here to stay, no matter his job title change.
In late January, managing TV Guide editor Alex Zalben learned that the @POTUS account was linked to a private Gmail account. Taking a screenshot of his discovery, Zalben posted the image to (you guessed it) Twitter, making it known to the American public that the sitting president wasn't taking cautionary measures to protect himself or the American people from cybercriminals.
Imagine if a nefarious foreign actor had been able to gain access to Trump's presidential Twitter account. The cybercriminal could have publicly humiliated an ally or declared war in Trump's name. Despite it only being a Twitter account, because it is the President's official account, it would have been taken as seriously as an executive order.
After the image was posted, Trump's Twitter account verification email was changed to an official White House account, but it would seem that Trump nor his staff learned from the mistake.
Tiptoeing a Fine Line
When George W. Bush was still in office, he and his administration were accused of using the Republican National Committee (RNC) email system to stonewall transparency rules when they claimed to have 'misplaced' 22 million emails. Though using independent political email accounts at the White House is not illegal, it is deeply frowned upon as it is generally done to splinter political conversations and engagements. Again, though not illegal, the fact that Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon were using a compromised email server demonstrates that they (nor Trump) fully understand the ramifications of a cyberattack. By continuing to use a breached server and thumbing their noses at cybersecurity, they are putting the nation at risk. Intelligence officials have learned that the Russian government is supporting cyberattacks on western democracies to undermine not just the United States, but the country's allies as well.
Having made multiple character assassination attacks on Hillary Clinton for using a private email server, at what point will the Trump administration take responsibility and realize that they too, are making the same cybersecurity mistakes?
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