Narendra Modi's Twitter account 'briefly compromised,' shares cryptocurrency scam link
PM Narendra Modi's personal Twitter account was "briefly compromised" in the early hours of Sunday. While the account was quickly restored, a tweet endorsing cryptocurrencies had already been sent from the account, which has since been deleted. The post had a link to a dubious website promising a Bitcoin giveaway, claiming New Delhi purchased Bitcoins and planned to distribute them to the country's citizens.
Why does it matter?
- Modi's Twitter account has over 73mn followers, making him one of the most popular users on the platform.
- In September 2020, the Twitter account of his personal app/website was hacked by an unknown organization.
- Many renowned Twitter accounts have recently been hacked to promote cryptocurrencies—including US President Joe Biden, ex-US President Barack Obama, rapper Kanye West, and billionaire entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
What did the hacker tweet?
A tweet was published through Modi's handle falsely claiming that India has officially adopted Bitcoin as "legal tender." "The government has officially bought 500 BTC and is distributing them to all residents of the country," read the now-deleted tweet. A fake link was also attached to the tweet. The post was quickly deleted, but not before the hashtag "#Hacked" started trending.
PM's Office issues statement
The Twitter handle of PM @narendramodi was very briefly compromised. The matter was escalated to Twitter and the account has been immediately secured.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 11, 2021
In the brief period that the account was compromised, any Tweet shared must be ignored.
Activists, political leaders first spotted tweet
Many Twitter users, including several political leaders and activists, swarmed to the microblogging site to share Modi's tweet. "Good Morning Modi ji, Sab Changa Si?" tweeted Indian Youth Congress National President Srinivas BV. Political activist Tehseen Poonawalla had also turned to Twitter, questioning whether the account had been hacked. The screenshot of the since-deleted tweet also flooded the microblogging site.
Officials investigating hacking
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched a probe, sources told India Today. It is reportedly attempting to determine the source of the hacking event using the most up-to-date technology.