IN THE wake of social media accounts of several actors and MPs being hacked this year, with the latest being that of actor Amitabh Bachchan, the state cyber police plans to issue a specific advisory for social media accounts of celebrities. The move has been, in part, prompted by the fact that in most of the cases, the same hacking group was involved and used the same modus operandi, sources said.
“We are in the process of coming up with an advisory following incidents of social media accounts being hacked,” Inspector General (state cyber police) Brijesh Singh said.
Sources said the group Ayyildiz Tim cyber army normally gains access to the account of one well-known person and then sends phishing links to other celebrities through DMs. “Since the DM also comes from a well-known person, the recipient clicks on the link following which the person’s account gets hacked…,” an officer said. This has been how the accounts of celebrities like that of actor Anupam Kher were hacked earlier this year.
“We will be putting in steps like ensuring you don’t click on DMs from people you do not communicate with frequently, even if it is from a well-known person as this is the most common modus operandi being used,” the officer said.
Another loophole the cyber wing found when it came to these accounts was that the passwords were “too simple”. “In case of a Bollywood personality whose account was hacked in the past, his password was linked to a popular film starring him. This makes it easier to guess the password as well. They will be asked to ensure they don’t keep obvious passwords,” the officer added.
The advisory is also likely to mention secure platforms on which social media networks should be accessed. “Primarily, hacker groups target celebrities to ensure they get media coverage. Hence, the advisory will especially be aimed at those in the public eye,” an officer said.
In the past, accounts of several Bollywood celebrities from Anupam Kher to Shahid Kapoor and MPs like Swapan Dasgupta have been hacked. In the past 48 hours, the account of Bachchan and singer Adnan Sami were hacked. No formal complaint has been registered.