- President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is accused of acting as an ‘unregistered agent of a foreign principal” and “conspiracy against the United States,” according to an indictment issued Monday.
- Manafort led a lavish lifestyle, the indictment says.
- If it all sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, computer security researchers agree. They even found evidence indicating that Manafort’s used ‘bond007″ as a password.
On Monday, President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort was indicted by a grand jury, along with two others, including Manafort’s former business associate, Rick Gates. Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty.
The indictment stems from Manafort’s and Gate’s business dealings. Manafort is accused of lobbying on behalf of some controversial foreign leaders such as pro-Russian leaders in the Ukraine, and failing to properly register as a foreign agent.
The indictment contains 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
This development comes after months of news stories about Manafort’s alleged business dealings with foreign governments. These stories inspired curiosity in the minds of computer security researchers, reports Motherboard’s Louise Matsakis.
That curiosity caused a couple of security researchers to dig in and discover that Paul Manafort appeared to be fond of the James-Bond-inspired password “bond007”.
Their interest was piqued in February, after Manafort confirmed to Politico that hackers broke into Manafort’s daughter’s iPhone. As Business Insider previously reported, hackers then published roughly 300,000 of what they said were her text messages — about four years’ worth — to the “dark web.” The dark web is a secret version of the internet often used for criminal activity accessible only via a special browser.
Those messages apparently contained Manafort’s former email address, uncovered by a security researcher who goes by the online name Krypt3ia. Another researcher discovered that accounts that used this same email address were compromised in two big security hacks: the 2013 Adobe hack, and the 2012 Dropbox hack.
The password hints for the Adobe account were things like “secret agent” and “James Bond.” Those hints basically allowed the researchers to correctly guess that the password itself was “bond007.” The same Bond-inspired password worked for both the Adobe and Dropbox accounts.
The indictment also alleges that from 2008 to 2014 (a time frame when the password was active), Manafort used offshore accounts to wire over $US12 million to fund a luxurious lifestyle, paying for items like Range Rovers, men’s clothing, and to buy $US3 million New York City condo rented out on Airbnb.
All of that sounds like a James Bond movie, too.