CNN: Email 'prankster' catfished White House personnel

He posed as Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus and others.

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AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Ready for another story about political emails? CNN reports tonight that a person described as a "prankster" from the UK emailed several White House officials and successfully fooled them into believing he was a colleague. That included a message claiming to be from senior adviser Jared Kushner to Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert, which teased out a response from Bossert that included his personal email address. The emailer tweets under the handle SINON_REBORN, where he has posted screenshots of the emails.

He also catfished (ex) White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci multiple times during his brief stint. In an email the day after Reince Priebus resigned as chief of staff, the individual pretended to be Priebus, and apparently got a response from Scaramucci saying "You know what you did. We all do. Even today. But rest assured we were prepared. A Man would apologize." He also managed to fool Huntsman himself, but was unable to pull one over for long on Arthur Schwartz, a friend of Scaramucci's, or Eric Trump Jr., who said: "I have sent this to law enforcement who will handle from here."

The ease with which he was able to communicate with White House personnel remains troubling, however, since, as CNN notes, these kinds of fake emails are a key component to the type of spear phishing attack that hit John Podesta. Within the last day, Wikileaks has posted emails purported to be from the campaign of French president Emanuel Macron, while the White House and State Department email systems have previously been breached.

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