Trump Targeted By Mar-A-Lago Malware
An arrest has been made at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in a suspected cyber-security attack on the President.
Yujing Zhang, a Chinese woman, tried to talk her way into Mar-a-Lago and got surprisingly far before being detained. Claiming that her father was a member at the club, she managed to get past club security, a secret service checkpoint and three secret service agents by feigning a language barrier and claiming not to know where she needed to go.
After a golf-cart valet dropped her off at the main reception area, Zhang started to change her tune. The receptionist asked several times why she was visiting the club, eventually determining that she was not on the club’s access list when Zhang claimed that she was there for an event centered around Chinese-American foreign relations. An event that did not exist.
Zhang was escorted off the premises by security and was then further questioned. At this time they discovered that she had two different passports and several electronic devices, including a USB hard drive which was discovered to be infected with Malware.
During the questioning she claimed, in fluent English by this point, that she was told by a man called “Charles” to travel from Shanghai to the Palm Beach resort for the United Nations event. She also claims that she was told that she would be speaking to a member of Trump’s family to discuss the economic relationship between China and the United States, which, to be fair, doesn’t sound completely unbelievable with the current administration. Well, if the event had existed of course.
Seeing as Trump has spent nearly 3 months at the resort during his presidency and has used it for official political events several times already, we can (relatively) safely assume that Trump was the target. We do not know if this would have been through the malware disrupting Trump services or perhaps snooping on private conversations or a multitude of other things. Perhaps it was ransomware intended to hold the president’s data ransom, similar to the recent attack on Norsk Hydro, which has currently racked up in excess of $40,000,000 in losses?
It is currently unknown what Zhang’s exact motives were, but it will be interesting to see if we find out anymore about the plans with the malware-ridden hard drive in her hearing, which is scheduled for April 8th.