Former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York is a prime target for hackers seeking to steal classified material on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.
Weiner is a digital window to Clinton because his estranged wife – Huma Abedin – is one of the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s closest campaign allies, and because his lascivious web habits make him especially vulnerable.
The FBI recently reopened its investigation into Clinton’s use of private email addresses and the home-brew server located in her New York mansion after discovering that a laptop shared by Abedin and Weiner contained 650,000 potentially related emails.
Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit government watchdog, recently discovered that Clinton’s server was the target of 10 hack attempts over a two-day period in November 2010.
“He’s a notorious public figure who’s married to Mrs. Clinton’s closest personal assistant,” Judicial Watch Director of Research and Investigations Chris Farrell told TheDCNF. “Foreign intelligence services look for people like that, like Anthony Weiner, because they’re essentially vulnerable.”
Farrell said “their internet hygiene, their conduct, lend themselves to attention and hacking by foreign intelligence services. These are very shrewd operators. That’s exactly the type of person they’re looking to exploit.”
Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology Senior Fellow James Scott agreed, saying “[Weiner] would make a perfect target if someone was looking to get to Hillary because he has direct access to Huma,” who has “carte blanche access to Hillary.”
Clinton and Abedin trust texts, emails and links from one another, and Abedin trusted such messages from Weiner, Scott noted.
Weiner “has a weakness for a certain lifestyle which makes him an easy click-bait target,” Scott told TheDCNF. “All you need is for him to click and you can own everyone you need to in order to move laterally to the target. Indirect attacks have become the norm for high profile targets.”
Scott explained that an attacker could simply create a fake account posing as a woman “with promiscuous intentions. You can inject malicious code into images and you can also hit him with a malicious payload via bit.ly link when texting or emailing back and forth.”
The FBI discovered the new Clinton emails while investigating whether Weiner sent sexual texts to a minor girl. An attack starting on Weiner’s phone could move into a computer, such as the one he shared with Abedin, after a typical sync between the devices.
“Also, it’s pretty common for a malicious payload to have screen shot capability, as well as hot mic activation on the target’s computer and phone,” Scott told TheDCNF. Then there are countless “scripts that would allow [a hacker] to completely own the target.”
“It’s actually really easy to do,” Scott said.