PM Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked to Source donations for the PM National Relief Fund

Piyasi Mitra
Piyasi Mitra is a journalist, features writer and copy editor who has worked with The Times of India and the ABP Group, and is currently exploring content creation in the digital space.
  • On September 3, unidentified crypto hackers targeted Narendra Modi’s Twitter account comprising 2.5 million plus followers,The hackers asked followers to send cryptocurrencies to an Ethereum address
  • Cybercriminal group ‘John Wick’ has taken responsibility for the attack and also denied involvement in the recent Paytm Mall hack incident

The latest victim of crypto scammers targetting high profile Twitter accounts is none other than Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On September 3, unidentified crypto hackers targeted Narendra Modi’s Twitter account comprising 2.5 million plus followers, which is also associated with the Prime Minister’s official website. The scamsters posted a series of tweets urging followers to donate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to the PM National Relief Fund on a certain crypto wallet address. The account is different from Narendra Modi’s personal account (@narendramodi), which boasts of over 61 million followers.

The tweets, which are now off the social media platform, urged people to donate generously through cryptocurrencies, adding an Ethereum crypto wallet address in the comment segment. 

Interestingly, one of the tweets also admitted that Narendra Modi’s account was hacked by ‘John Wick’, but added that ‘we have not hacked Paytm Mall’. This is in connection with cybersecurity firm Cyble alleging a notorious cybercriminal group named John Wick responsible for a huge data breach at Paytm Mall. However, all the tweets have now been deleted from the social networking platform.

A Twitter spokesperson has shared with Reuters that they’re aware of the cybercrime and have taken necessary steps to secure the compromised account through active investigation.

Indian Prime Minister’s Twitter attack comes just months after a widespread crypto attack hacked high-profile Twitter accounts to carry out cryptocurrency-related scams involving Bitcoin and Ethereum. Under this, Twitter accounts of a range of world-famous celebrities such as Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and more were hacked at the time. Before controlling it, over $120,000 in Bitcoin was siphoned to the hacker’s address. Investigations by US authorities later revealed that it was carried out by a 17-year-old teen in Florida, who gained access to the site’s admin keys.

In a constantly evolving technological landscape, cyber hacks and crypto crimes are at an all-time high. Most of the times, despite maintaining a secure system, crypto hackers still manage to outsmart us. As a step towards risk mitigation, Israel-based digital forensics firm Cellebrite recently announced the launch of its cryptocurrency and Blockchain tracing tool powered by CipherTrace’s crypto intelligence tool. The would help investigators identify illicit transactions by allowing users to scour the blockchain for transactions, evaluate risk level and enable law enforcement and corporate users to conduct a crypto fraud investigation.

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