Twitter Hack Sees Indian PM Request BTC and ETH Donations

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  • Another Twitter hack has seen the website of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi taken over
  • The hackers asked the account’s 2.5 million followers to donate BTC and ETH to a Covid-19 fund
  • They also proclaimed their innocence over an alleged cyber hack on Indian ecommerce outlet Paytm Mall

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has seen the Twitter account associated with his website hacked in a reminder of the mass Twitter hack that took place in July. Similarly to that event, the hack was used to solicit cryptocurrency, with what appeared to be a fake Covid-19 relief fund used as the bait with which to hook unsuspecting philanthropists. A separate theory has grown up around the hack however which suggests that the hackers weren’t interested in the money and wanted to clear their name over a recent alleged cyber hack.

Modi Twitter Hack Asks for Covid-19 Donations

The Twitter hack on Modi’s account took place Thursday, with the hackers using the account to request followers to donate Bitcoin and Ethereum to the “PM National Relief Fund for COVID-19”:

Few people were able to be hoodwinked before the account was restored – only one Ethereum and two Bitcoin transactions are linked with the associated addresses totalling less than a dollar.

In an interesting twist to the incident, Buzzfeed’s India correspondent claimed that he had been contacted by the hackers who had informed him that the whole thing was a publicity stunt designed to illustrate how insecure Modi’s website was and to clear their name over the alleged hacking of Paytm Mall, a local ecommerce outlet:

Not Related to July Hack

Twitter reacted swiftly in taking Modi’s account offline before returning it to his team, illustrating that they seem to have learnt their lesson from the huge Twitter hack in July that saw 13 taken by hackers who took over the accounts of several certified accounts. This instance was different however as the hack wasn’t performed on Twitter’s servers but through the account itself, showing that, indeed, Modi’s web security was poor and that the hackers may have not intended to defraud crypto holders in the Twitter hack after all.