NBC News reports that so-called “Trump Whisperer” Hope Hicks claims that she has fallen victim to email hackers, and so cannot provide emails requested by the House Intelligence Committee:
A day before she resigned as White House communications director, Hope Hicks told the House Intelligence Committee last week that one of her email accounts was hacked, according to people who were present for her testimony in the panel’s Russia probe.
Under relatively routine questioning from Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., about her correspondence, Hicks indicated that she could no longer access two accounts: one she used as a member of President Donald Trump’s campaign team and the other a personal account, according to four people who spoke on the condition of anonymity…
It’s not clear if it was Hope Hicks’ personal or campaign email account that was hacked, when the hack might have occurred, or whether either of the accounts was used for official White House business.
And normally a “hack” wouldn’t prevent you from recovering access to an account. Hicks is reported to have claimed that she is not technologically savvy, but it’s often the case that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to regain control an account that has been hijacked by a hacker. And surely she has nerdy friends and acquaintances who would help her if she was bamboozled?
Those who follow the dramatic goings-on in American politics these days may remember that Miss Hicks’ ex-boss Donald Trump infamously called for external assistance in accessing missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s infamous private server:
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
We don’t know if Russia will be able to help or not in the hunt for Hope Hicks’ inaccessible email communications, or if any communications of interest might have already been wiped by a hacker.
What a shame Hope Hicks hadn’t done more to protect her email account. Just adding two-step verification, for instance, will normally be enough to prevent virtually all email hacking attempts.
Check out this edition of the “Smashing Security” podcast to learn more about protecting your webmail accounts: