Hacker Hijacks Twitter Account of Indian Prime Minister's Relief Fund, Asks Followers for Crypto

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the latest victim of a Twitter hack undertaken to trick social media users into sending crypto to the attackers.

AccessTimeIconSep 3, 2020 at 3:44 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:51 a.m. UTC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the latest victim of a Twitter hack undertaken to trick social media users into sending cryptocurrency to the attackers.

  • According to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review on Thursday, a Twitter account of Modi's personal website known as the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was hacked.
  • A series of tweets were posted by hackers asking the PMNRF's 2.5 million followers to donate to the relief fund using cryptocurrency, Twitter has confirmed.
  • It is unclear whether funds were sent to a private wallet address or how much may have been siphoned off.
  • Funds from the PMNRF are generally used to provide relief to families of those killed in natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, and earthquakes. Donations are usually paid in fiat.
  • "We are actively investigating the situation," a Twitter spokeswoman said in an email statement cited in the Nikkei. The social media giant is "not aware of additional accounts being impacted," she said.
  • The event follows the recent hacks that compromised several high-profile accounts, including those of U.S. Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, Tesla's Elon Musk, Kanye West and CoinDesk.
  • The attacks used celebrity accounts in order to deceive unsuspecting victims into handing over their bitcoin through a rudimentary giveaway scam promising to double a victim's funds if they sent it to a particular address.
  • In late July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local officials arrested three young men in the U.S. in connection with the hacks – including alleged mastermind Graham Ivan Clark.
  • Clark has pleaded not guilty to all charges brought against him.
  • It is unclear whether those attacks might be related to the one on Modi.

The Modi incident is another sobering reminder to always think twice before sending crypto to strangers on the internet, even if there's a blue check and the portrait of a head of state in the profile.

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Twitter Hack 2020


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