Hackers Breach Indian PM’s Twitter Saying India Adopts Bitcoin

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi delivering the National Statement at the COP 26, in Glasgow. Hackers Compromise Indian PM’s Twitter Account and Declare Bitcoin Legal Tender

Early on Sunday, the Indian Prime Minister’s office confirmed that hackers compromised the Twitter account of Narendra Modi. The hackers used the account to spread the news that India adopted Bitcoin as legal tender and is now distributing free coins to residents. Narendra Modi’s Twitter account has 73 million followers.

Hackers Breach Indian PM’s Twitter Account

Late on Saturday, hackers managed to breach the personal Twitter account of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Next, they posted a fraudulent tweet including a malicious link. It read: “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.”

Fortunately, the Prime Minister’s office managed to swiftly delete the tweet and restore the PM’s account. They then posted a short message saying that “the Twitter handle of PM @narendramodi was very briefly compromised” and asked people to ignore the hackers’ tweet.

Narendra Modi has been serving as Prime Minister since 2014. His Twitter account is amongst the most popular of leaders worldwide. 73 million people follow Narendra Modi’s Twitter account. On Friday, India finalized a draft bill on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. Approximately 15 to 20 million people living in India use crypto.

Not a First

It’s not the first time that hackers target Narendra Modi’s Twitter account. In September 2020, hackers compromised the PM’s official account as well. Back then, they urged followers to donate to India’s National Relief Fund through cryptocurrency.

In July of the same year, the Twitter accounts of several prominent users were shut down after hackers took over their accounts. These included the accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Jeff Bezos. The hackers posted a phishing link asking people to transfer Bitcoin to a certain address. They would then double the transferred amount and send it back to the person who transferred it.

It was the largest Bitcoin scam of its time and a first on Twitter. The hackers managed to steal 12.9 Bitcoin in total from almost 400 people. In July 2020, this number of Bitcoins equated to approximately $118,000. Today, 12.9 in Bitcoin is worth over $600,000.  In July 2021, a 22-year-old was arrested for his role in this massive hack.

Twitter Not Behind the Breach

A Twitter spokesperson told India Today that they have a 24/7 open line of communication with the PM’s office and that their team took the necessary steps to secure the account. Moreover, Twitter’s initial investigation indicated that the security incident is different from July 2020’s hacking spree.

Apparently, this breach was a one-off attack targeting the account of Narendra Modi specifically. The hackers did not breach any of Twitter’s internal systems. Furthermore, they did not compromise any other account.

India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) is looking into the origin of the breach. On Sunday, several opposition leaders expressed concern over the cybersecurity incident. “With advancement and reliability on technology, policymakers must realize that cyber security is equally important as border, internal security,” said National Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill.

IT communication specialist
Sandra has many years of experience in the IT and tech sector as a communication specialist. She's also been co-director of a company specializing in IT, editorial services and communications project management. For VPNoverview.com she follows relevant cybercrime and online privacy developments. She rigorously tests the quality of VPN services using VPNOverview.com's dedicated VPN testing protocol that has been finetuned and optimized over the years.