“We believe the hacker has actually penetrated Trump’s Twitter account, but has met the criteria that have been developed in case law to go free as an ethical hacker,” the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement, the Guardian reported.
Gevers was open about what he had done and said his aim was to show “vulnerabilities in the Internet,” the BBC reported. On Oct. 22, Gevers shared screenshots, apparently from inside Trump’s account. He also tweeted some advice, seemingly directed at the U.S. president, encouraging the use of two-factor authentication, which makes it harder to hack a password.
Both the White House and Twitter have denied Gevers gained access to the account.
“This is absolutely not true but we don’t comment on security procedures around the President’s social media accounts,” deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement in October.
Twitter said in a statement that it “had seen no evidence to corroborate this claim, including from the article published in the Netherlands today. 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.”
Gevers, a cybersecurity researcher, told Dutch prosecutors that he was checking for vulnerabilities in the accounts of U.S. candidates ahead of the November elections when he breached Trump’s account.
“He later stated to police that he had investigated the strength of the password because there were major interests involved if this Twitter account could be taken over so shortly before the presidential election,” the prosecutors said, according to the BBC.