“Now India begins with cryptocurrency,” the hackers’ tweets read Modi’s Twitter account
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the latest victim of the series of crypto-based twitter attacks as hackers asked followers to donate cryptocurrency on one of the Twitter accounts associated with the prime minister.
According to a report from India Today, Modi’s personal Twitter account @narendramodi_in was used by hackers operating under the alias “John Wick” to post a series of tweets with Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet addresses.
The fraudulent tweets were posted on September 2, asking the 2.5 million followers of the prime minister to “donate generously to PM National Relief Fund for Covid-19”.
The tweets further appealed to people to use cryptocurrency for donations, linking at least two different wallet addresses in the tweets. The tweets were taken down within a few minutes after being visible and blockchain data has revealed that no funds were sent to either account.
“I appeal to you all to donate generously to PM National Relief Fund for Covid-19, Now India begins with cryptocurrency, Kindly Donate eth to 0xae073DB1e5752faFF169B1ede7E8E94bF7f80Be6,” the series of tweets on the PM’s account read. The Twitter account is also linked with the Prime Minister’s personal website and mobile app.
Confirming the hack of Modi’s personal website, Twitter explained it has taken steps to secure the compromised account. “We are actively investigating the situation. At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted,” a Twitter spokesperson told news agency Reuters.
The tweets soliciting cryptocurrency were followed by another tweet by the hacker group ‘John Wick’ claiming responsibility for the security breach and posting its email address.
Cybersecurity firm Cyble had claimed that the John Wick hacker group had orchestrated a “massive” data breach at the e-commerce arm of unicorn Paytm – Paytm Mall. Further, an account claiming to belong to the hacker group bragged about gaining access to Paytm Mall on a Russian online forum.
Cyble had further reported that the hacker group demanded ransom from the firm after obtaining unrestricted access to its database. Paytm had explained that no such data breach was discovered during an investigation.
The hackers used Modi’s Twitter account to explicitly state that it did not hack the e-commerce marketplace Paytm Mall.
PM Modi is not the only world leader who has recently been targeted by hackers seeking some form of crypto payout. At least 30 high-profile Twitter accounts — including those of US President Barack Obama and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — were hacked on July 15, offering followers a fake 2-to-1 ‘giveaway’ for any Bitcoin sent.