Trump’s official website and social media accounts were taken down on Friday by a new group of cybercriminals, including an unknown group called Guardians of Peace.
The hackers had been working on a new malware campaign targeting the presidential candidate’s social media and website for weeks, but it is unclear how far the campaign has progressed, and what impact it has had.
“The group is also attempting to disrupt US elections and government institutions,” Reuters news agency reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
“The campaign is targeting Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and it is believed to have been launched in recent weeks, although no evidence has been provided of any direct involvement by Russian intelligence.”
Reuters reported that Guardians of War, which uses the alias Doxxor, was linked to a number of other groups, including BlackOps, Cyber Monday, Shadow Brokers and Guardians of Liberty, among others.
The Guardian has not been able to confirm the source of the hack.
The site is hosted by the Washington-based cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which said on its website that the hackers have “a history of targeting high profile targets.”
“We continue to monitor and investigate threats against our customers and partners, as well as other US government and private companies,” CrowdStrike said.
Guardians of Peace, meanwhile, is a newly formed group that appeared on several hacking forums, and said it had not breached any government systems.
It is not clear who the Guardians of peace are.
But in a post on the Guardians website, they wrote: “In the past, we have exploited vulnerabilities in the WordPress, WordPress themes and plugins, and we have targeted organizations such as the CIA, FBI, State Department, and NSA.
We have also targeted organizations including NASA, the National Weather Service, the US Congress, and other federal agencies.””
We are not a government agency,” they added.
CrowdStrike did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the US Secret Service has launched an investigation into the Guardians group.
Trump has also taken aim at cybersecurity in a series of tweets on Friday morning, saying:”The Secret Service should be embarrassed by the attacks on their websites.
It should be ashamed of itself!”
The president said that the agency’s cyber operations were “inadequate”, and said he would “make sure” that the agencies security was up to snuff.
Reuters also reported that a cybersecurity firm hired by Trump to help him build his security team had been compromised.
One of the cyber attacks blamed the firm on Guardians of Light, a group of people who have posted on social media about the group’s plans to steal sensitive data from the government.
“You can be sure this will not be the last time this group is exposed, it will only become worse and we are in for a very rough time,” the group said on their Twitter account, @GuardiansOfLight.
Reuters has contacted Guardians of Darkness for comment and will update this story if we hear back.
On Friday, US Democratic lawmakers also launched a bipartisan inquiry into the security of the US presidential election process.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the US should do everything possible to “keep our elections secure”.
“It is unacceptable that our elections are not secure, especially when it comes to our democracy,” she said in a statement.
“It is a shame that we have seen the president, the vice-president, and members of his transition team take steps to undermine the security and integrity of the electoral process.”
A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, and the White House did not directly address the Guardian’s report.
Last week, a former senior US intelligence official said that there was a “pretty good” chance that hackers could have hacked into a presidential campaign.
Senator Mark Warner, who is leading a bipartisan Senate investigation into Russian meddling in the election, told reporters on Friday that he had evidence of hacking.
Mr Warner said the Russians had “a very good chance” of compromising the US election.
In an interview with Fox News, Mr Warner said: “It’s an active, sophisticated, well-funded group of hackers who have an appetite for getting their hands on our information.”
He added: “We don’t have a lot of information about how they were able to access information, but we do know that they had an appetite to get into the system.”
A spokesperson for the campaign did say that the president and vice-presidents of the United States had made a joint statement “condemning” the hacking and said: We stand firmly behind our election process and our democratic institutions.
We also want to make it very clear that there are no credible allegations of hacking in our elections.
Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally in New Hampshire.
President Donald Trump holds a rally during a campaign rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on February 10, 2020.