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Someone 'briefly compromised' the Indian Prime Minister's Twitter account

It's the latest attempt to hijack a major politician's social media profile.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the "Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment" session at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 2, 2021. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS
Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|December 12, 2021 3:59 PM

People aren't done hijacking major politicians' Twitter accounts for financial gain. TechCrunch reports an intruder temporarily seized control of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Twitter account on December 12th in local time. The attacker tweeted a bogus claim that India had adopted Bitcoin as legal tender and pointed users to a (thankfully broken) scam website. The post was at odds with India's well-known disdain for cryptocurrency.

The Prime Minister's office didn't say much about the incident. It acknowledged that Modi's account had been "briefly compromised," but that it contacted Twitter and "immediately secured" the politician's profile. Twitter told TechCrunch something similar.

It's not certain just who's responsible, or how they hijacked the account (some speculated the attackers exploited a website flaw). This wasn't a large-scale campaign like the one that defaced the Twitter accounts of Joe Biden, Elon Musk and other major figures, though. It's chiefly concerning that someone breached Modi's account in the first place — world leaders are expected to have strict security, and Twitter even has a system for protecting high-profile users against attacks. While those measures aren't foolproof, they theoretically reduce the chances of incidents like this.

Someone 'briefly compromised' the Indian Prime Minister's Twitter account