A subdomain of the official Joe Biden campaign website was defaced last week by what appears to be a Turkish hacktivist.
The targeted subdomain, vote.joebiden.com, originally redirected users to iwillvote.com, a website sponsored by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that provides information about the voting process, including registration, voting from abroad, voting by mail, and finding voting locations. The vote.joebiden.com subdomain has been promoted in materials released by the Biden campaign before the elections.
On November 18, the subdomain started displaying a message written in Turkish apparently by a hacktivist called “RootAyyıldız,” who described themself as a “Turkish and Muslim defacer” and a patriot. The message threatened Turkey’s adversaries and Turkish political parties backed by the United States.
It’s unclear what method was used to hijack the subdomain, but it’s not uncommon for hacktivists to use unsophisticated methods to deface websites, including CMS misconfigurations or widely available and easy to use exploits. It’s also not uncommon for hackers to deface sites using DNS hijacking.
The incident does not appear to impact the main joebiden.com domain. The vote.joebiden.com subdomain is currently inaccessible, but the defacement is still indexed by Google at the time of writing. The Joe Biden campaign store subdomain is down for maintenance, but it’s unclear if that is related to the hack.
Related: Linux.org Defaced via DNS Hijack