- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016

Donald Trump’s recent claim that a 400-pound hacker may have been responsible for breaching the Democratic National Committee has caused a bounty to be issued for the businessman’s tax returns.

The people behind an eminent hacker publication, titled 2600, announced a $10,000 award Wednesday for anyone who will provide them first with Mr. Trump’s tax records — widely sought financial records which the Republican presidential nominee has broken a decades-long precedent by refusing to release.

The offer was initially extended through the magazine’s official Twitter account and was discussed on a Wednesday evening radio program hosted by Emmanuel Goldstein, the pseudonymous 59-year-old editor and publisher of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly.

“This is a guy who has not released his tax returns, despite every presidential candidate having done that over the past however many decades, and somehow that’s just being swept under the rug,” he said during Wednesday night’s broadcast of “Off the Hook,” Motherboard reported.

“Guccifer 3.0, if you’re out there, this is what we need: We need somebody to get in and get these returns,” he added, evoking an alias used by hackers credited with two of the most significant modern security breaches of the American political establishment.

Despite being a driving point in his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Mr. Trump has thus far failed to release his tax returns in spite of a tradition that dates back to the 1970s.

When the White House hopefuls went head-to-head Monday for their first presidential debate, Mrs. Clinton suggested her opponent was hiding something “terrible” in his tax records. On his part, Mr. Trump said he will release his tax documents when Mrs. Clinton produces thousands of deleted emails that disappeared from a private server she used while secretary of state.

Mrs. Clinton’s use of nongovernmental email to discuss sensitive information was revealed in 2013 when Marcel Lazar, a Romanian computer hacker known as “Guccifer,” found evidence of a previously unknown address used by Mrs. Clinton.

The moniker “Guccifer 2.0” has been used in connection with recent cyberattacks waged against the Democratic Party ahead of the 2016, and several security experts believe the alias and its associated computer intrusions are linked to the Russian government.

Amid these routine hacking attempts being waged at his rival party, Mr. Trump all but implored Moscow to intervene in Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal during a July press conference.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said, later insisting that he was speaking sarcastically. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.”

During Monday’s debate, however, Mr. Trump raised doubts about Russia’s alleged role in the DNC hack and instead suggested the culprit “could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”

“That derogatory 400 lb hacker remark was our tipping point,” 2600 tweeted Wednesday.

In a series of follow-up tweets, 2600 said it would allow others to contribute toward the bounty and suggested the award “could easily become $100k or more.”

“Incidentally, we will also pay [Mr. Trump] $10K if he gives us his tax return first. Or anyone in his campaign or family. Fair is fair,” another tweet said.

“We welcome your participation,” 2600 tweeted to @NSA_PR, a parody account that mocks the U.S. intelligence agency’s public relations team.

Wednesday’s announcement is hardly the first time 2600 set its sights on Mr. Trump’s White House run. During this year’s installment of the bi-annual Hackers On Planet Earth conference it hosted in New York City, its publisher participated in a social-engineering panel before a packed room with the aim of pranking the Republican presidential candidate.

“I want to [expletive] with this guy, I really do,” he said, acknowledging he was in a unique position to target Mr. Trump on account of having assembled roughly 3,000 hackers at a conference where attendees were offered free, high-speed Internet.

“The world’s gone insane so we have a moral responsibility to do something,” Mr. Goldstein said.

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