Manafort’s alleged crimes have piqued the interest of almost everyone — except apparently Fox News — but especially computer security researchers who worked to uncover Manafort’s James Bond-inspired email password: “bond007.”
It wasn’t hard for researchers to crack that case.
According to Business Insider, the not-so-subtle password hints Manafort set up for his Adobe account included “secret agent” and “James Bond.” And since Manafort broke the cardinal rule of internet passwords — using the same one for multiple accounts — researchers were also able to access Manafort’s Dropbox account using the same “bond007” password.
The puzzle first presented itself in February, after hackers broke into Manafort’s daughter’s iPhone and published about 300,000 of her alleged text messages to the dark web. Among those messages was Manafort’s former email address, uncovered by a security researcher who goes by the online name Krypt3ia. (Manafort told Politico in February that hackers had successfully broken into his daughter’s phone and confirmed the authenticity of some of the texts between him and her, but declined to comment on most of them.)
Another researcher found that accounts using Manafort’s email address were compromised in two major security hacks: the 2013 Adobe hack, and the 2012 Dropbox hack, Business Insider said.
The Trump administration has sought to downplay Manafort’s role in the 2016 campaign in the wake of his indictment, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying Monday, “Paul Manafort was brought in to lead the delegate process, which he did, and was dismissed not too long after that [in August].”
But the leaked text messages sent and received by Manafort’s daughter Andrea Manafort Shand suggest that her father’s influence with Trump extended far beyond what he and his administration have claimed.
Even after Manafort stepped down from the campaign last August amid reports of his ties to Russia, Manafort Shand told friends that her father was still one of Trump’s closest “allies.”
“As I suspected, my dad resigned from being the public face of the campaign but is still very much involved behind the scenes,” Manafort Shand texted a friend in August. “He felt he was becoming a distraction and that would ultimately take a toll on the campaign.”
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Manafort Shand also described her father as being “super tight” with the entire Trump family and “one of the world’s greatest manipulators.”
“Like he just tells you the sky is green over and over,” she said. “And eventually you are like is it? … It’s confidence. When you say something unwaveringly, people start to believe it.”
“I mean yea that got Trump where he is today,” a friend replied.
“Yup. Perfect allies,” Manafort Shand agreed. “Trump probably has more morals than my dad. Which is really just saying something about my dad. My dad is a psycho!!!”
Manafort Shand also claimed that her father’s role in Trump’s campaign was generally much greater than the public was led to believe and that Manafort was responsible for choosing Mike Pence as Trump’s vice president and for hiring Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.
Manafort Shand told sister Jessica Manafort that their father “was brought on to be convention manager, but really it was always to run s–t.”
Manafort has denied “knowingly” colluding with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign. He also previously denied “financial wrongdoing regarding his Ukraine-related payments, his bank accounts in offshore tax shelters and his various real-estate transactions over the years,” CNN reported.
Manafort pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday. He was released on $10 million bond and placed on house arrest, per the Associated Press.
Manafort’s lawyer, Keith Downing, told reporters outside the courthouse that “there’s no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.”