Narendra Modi’s personal Twitter account, which has over 73 million followers, has been hacked.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal Twitter account was “very briefly compromised”, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
A quickly deleted tweet from its main @narendramodi handle said that India had adopted Bitcoin as legal tender and was distributing the cryptocurrency to citizens.
He said that the Indian government had officially purchased 500 Bitcoins and was “distributing them to all residents of the country”, along with a fraudulent link.
The matter was taken to Twitter and the prime minister’s personal Twitter account was immediately secured, Modi’s office wrote in a tweet on Saturday evening.
PM’s Twitter handle @Narendra Modi was very briefly compromised. The matter was forwarded to Twitter and the account was immediately secured.
During the brief period the account was compromised, any shared Tweets should be ignored.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 11, 2021
Any tweets shared during the brief time the account was compromised should be ignored, he said.
It was not immediately clear how long Modi’s personal Twitter account, which has over 73 million followers, was compromised.
Twitter users grabbed screenshots of the since-deleted tweet.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account hacked? pic.twitter.com/VyTNd2FDSr
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) December 11, 2021
A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Reuters news agency that the company took all necessary steps to secure the compromised account as soon as it became aware of the activity. An investigation revealed no signs of other affected accounts, the spokesperson added.
Modi’s account had previously been briefly compromised in September 2020, when hackers asked followers in a series of tweets to donate to India’s National Relief Fund via cryptocurrency.
Several prominent public figures’ Twitter accounts were hacked in July 2020, including US presidential candidate Joe Biden, former US President Barack Obama, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and used to solicit digital currency.
Two teenagers and a 22-year-old man have been charged with hacking, according to the US Department of Justice.
After stealing employee credentials and breaking into Twitter’s systems, the hackers were able to target other employees who had access to account support tools, the company said.
The hacks led to fake tweets being sent on July 15 from the accounts of Obama, Biden, Musk and a number of tech billionaires, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates. Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked.
The tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.