One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s verified Twitter accounts was compromised in the early hours of Thursday, leading to a probe by the social media company.
The account, @narendramodi_in, had posted tweets asking followers to donate Bitcoin to specific accounts. The account is one of the PM’s official accounts and is linked to the PM’s personal website and the Narendra Modi mobile app. It tweeted, “I appeal to you all to donate generously to PM National Relief Fund for Covid-19, Now India begin with crypto currency. Kindly Donate Bitcoin…”
Minutes later, another tweet said, “Yes this account is hacked by John Wick (firstname.lastname@example.org), We have not hacked Paytm Mall.”
A Twitter spokesperson said, “We’re aware of this activity and have taken steps to secure the compromised account. We are actively investigating the situation. At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted.” The account was later restored and the tweets were deleted.
The incident is similar to another episode in July, in which 130 Twitter accounts were attacked because of a security incident on the platform. The accounts attacked included those of US presidential candidate Joe Biden, former US President Barack Obama and entrepreneur Elon Musk. Their accounts too had requested digital currency donations to specific bank accounts.
However, sources with knowledge of the matter said Thursday’s incident has no correlation with that breach. They said that the Twitter investigation into the PM’s account has shown that there has been no compromise of Twitter’s systems or service.