Actor Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter account was hacked on Monday night. Hours later, singer Adnan Sami’s account on the social media platform was also hacked. A group identifying itself as Ayyildiz Tim cyber army claimed credit for both the breaches. Here’s what we know about this group and its activities.
What is Ayyildiz Tim cyber army?
Ayyildiz Tim, which translates to ‘Star and Crescent’, is a pro-Pakistan Turkish hacking group that was established in 2002. After hacking an account in the past, they had left a message that said their main purpose was to protect the Republic of Turkey from cyber attacks and to combat terrorist organisations. A senior officer said that members of such groups term themselves ‘hacktivists’ who believe they work as activists in the virtual world.
What is the modus operandi of such groups? What do they gain from this?
Normally such groups will hack into networks that will get widespread media publicity following which they can put out a message. For example in the case of actor Amitabh Bachchan, they put out a message on his account claiming that Turkish footballers were being treated unfairly by Iceland. In some cases, they also hack accounts to get back at someone who they believe has been involved in wrongdoing. They targeted Adnan Sami as they believed that he betrayed their ‘brother country’ Pakistan. Sami, who was a Pakistani citizen gave up its citizenship to become an Indian national.
Has this group targeted other known Indian accounts in past?
Ayyildiz Tim cyber army has earlier claimed the responsibility for attacks on BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta, actor Anupam Kher, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav among others. The group had also hacked into actor Shahid Kapoor’s social media account and criticized him for showing Allauddin Khilji in a bad light in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. They also put up a photograph of Katrina Kaif along with the text “I love you, Katrina Kaif.”
Is there any clarity on how they hacked into the accounts?
A senior officer said that they are still in the process of finding out how the group managed to breach the accounts. In the past, the group had managed to hack into Anupam Kher’s account after sending him a DM from the account of Swapan Das Gupta which they had already hacked. When Kher clicked on the DM, his account was compromised too.
Police are now probing to check if Bachchan or Sami also clicked on such a phishing link that led to their account being hacked. A phishing link has a virus that is activated and compromises sensitive details like passwords. Bachchan’s password was circulated on the dark web within minutes of his account being hacked.