White House Staffers Duped by ‘Email Prankster’ Posing as Kushner, Preibus

Anthony Scaramucci and Tom Bossert were among many in the White House targeted.

August 1, 2017 11:51 am
Fake Emails Target White House
Anthony Scaramucci, former White House Communications director that resigned Monday, was duped twice by the email prankster. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Instead of fake news, the White House should be vigilant for fake emails.

A self-described “email prankster” tricked several Trump Administration officials, including Anthony Scaramucci and a cybersecurity advisor. The fake emails were sent from accounts posing as White House officials like Jared Kusner.

Tom Bossert, Homeland Security Adviser, was duped into sharing his unsolicited personal email with someone he thought was Kushner, CNN reports. “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is” [redacted], Bossert wrote.

In another fake email, Anthony Scaramucci, who resigned Monday, was duped into thinking he was speaking to Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff that resigned on Friday. Scaramucci exchanged barbs in a back-and-forth with the fake Priebus.

According to CNN, hoax emails were sent to John Huntsman Jr. and Eric Trump as well. The so-called prankster has also targeted high-profile financiers, like Lloyd Blankfein, in the past.

The ruse illustrates how vulnerable Americans are to this tactic, known as “spear-fishing,” in which a hacker poses as somebody with trust, no matter how powerful they may be. The same tactic was infamously used on John Podesta during the 2016 campaign.

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