CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Security

Senior White House staff fooled by email prankster

Donald Trump wants to tackle fake news, but some of his White House officials had trouble identifying fake emails.

Person wears a Guy Fawkes mask which today is a trademark and symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous. 2012.

An impostor from the UK masqueraded as White House officials and tricked senior members, including Anthony Scaramucci, into communicating with him.

PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images

In another day of drama in President Donald Trump's White House, a gap in cybersecurity came to light.

An "email prankster" from the UK tricked senior White House officials and one of Trump's sons into engaging in sensitive exchanges by masquerading as members of the Trump team, CNN reported Monday. Victims of the deception included Eric Trump, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, or "the Mooch." Scaramucci was booted from his job Monday just 10 days after he started.

In one incident described by CNN, Bossert, convinced the "prankster" was Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner, gave out his personal email address. 

The impostor also pretended to be former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and wrote to Scaramucci the day after Priebus was given the sack last week. Scaramucci, believing he was talking to the real Priebus, responded -- twice. He also replied to an email sent by the impostor posing as Ambassador to Russia-designate Jon Huntsman.

Acknowledging the breach, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday, "We take all cyber-related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further."

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.