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Twitter and White House deny claims that researcher hacked Trump’s account

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A security researcher claims he hacked President Donald Trump’s Twitter account earlier this month, guessing that his password was “maga2020!” and possibly posting a tweet where Trump appeared to take a satirical article seriously. Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant and magazine Vrij Nederland reported the news earlier today, citing screenshots and interviews with the researcher, Victor Gevers.

But when reached for comment, both Twitter and the White House vigorously denied the claim.

“We’ve seen no evidence to corroborate this claim, including from the article published in the Netherlands today,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge. “We proactively implemented account security measures for a designated group of high-profile, election-related Twitter accounts in the United States, including federal branches of government.”

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere also denied the report. “This is absolutely not true,” he told The Verge, “but we don’t comment on security procedures around the President’s social media accounts.”

Vrij Nederland reported last month that Gevers and two other hackers had successfully breached Trump’s Twitter account in October 2016. According to its new report, Gevers decided to run a new security test in 2020 by plugging in the old password. That password (“yourefired”) didn’t work, but Gevers discovered that Trump didn’t have two-factor authentication enabled — a remarkable weakness for a hugely important account. He guessed a handful of other passwords and was granted access after five other tries.

Twitter didn’t specify exactly what security measures had been implemented for Trump’s account. The company began requiring strong passwords and seriously encouraging two-factor security in September following a breach of several high-profile accounts, but it’s theoretically possible that the Trump campaign disabled that additional measure.

Vrij Nederland also suggests that Gevers was responsible for a strange tweet sent by Trump on October 16th. The tweet cited the satirical publication The Babylon Bee in an apparently serious capacity. Gevers apparently wouldn’t confirm this to Vrij Nederland, but he said that if he had, then “Trump will need to either admit to never having read the Babylon Bee article and posting this bullshit tweet, OR he will need to acknowledge that someone else posted the tweet.”

Trump claimed during a speech earlier this week that “nobody gets hacked,” except by someone with a “197 IQ” and “about 15 percent of your password.” Trump has previously admitted that a hacker breached his Twitter account in 2013.

Gevers — a respected security expert and co-founder of the nonprofit GDI Foundation — says he made numerous attempts to contact Trump about the vulnerability. de Volkskrant reports that the American Secret Service in the Netherlands reached out to Gevers and “took the report seriously,” according to correspondence seen by the reporters. (The US Secret Service press line didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Verge.) In a direct message to The Verge, Gevers says he also attempted to contact Twitter multiple times with “zero luck.”

Gevers didn’t confirm whether he sent the Babylon Bee tweet. But he says that despite gaining access to Trump’s account, he didn’t make changes to it. “That is not ethical and goes too far. That is not covered by a responsible disclosure / coordinated vulnerability disclosure,” he said. “Or, in plain English, a dick move.”

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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