- Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Twitter was hacked on Sunday and said the country had adopted bitcoin.
- The tweet said that India had bought 500 bitcoins and would distribute them to residents.
- The Indian government has been the target of more than 30,000 cyberattacks so far this year.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked on Sunday, broadcasting that the country had accepted bitcoin and would start distributing it to citizens.
Modi’s Twitter account, which has more than 73 million followers, was “very briefly compromised,” announced the prime minister’s office on Sunday.
“The matter was escalated to Twitter, and the account has been immediately secured,” it said. “In the brief period that the account was compromised, any Tweet shared must be ignored.”
The hoax tweet said that India had “officially accepted bitcoin as legal tender” and that the government “officially bought 500 BTC” that it would distribute to Indian residents, CNN reported. At press time, 500 bitcoins would be worth $24,455,200.
“The future has come today! #BTC,” the tweet read with several emojis (which Modi does not regularly use on his Twitter handle) and a potential scam link, according to a screenshot posted online.
—Peter Hoskins (@PeterHoskinsTV) December 11, 2021
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not recognized in India as legal tender.
This isn’t the first time a Twitter account linked to Modi has been compromised. Last September, @narendramodi_in, the Twitter account of Modi’s personal website and mobile app with around 2.6 million followers, encouraged people to donate cryptocurrency to a COVID-19 relief fund.
Nor is this the first time a high-profile Twitter account has been hacked for a crypto hoax. In July 2020, 130 Twitter accounts, including former President Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, tweeted links to a bitcoin scam. Twitter’s stock lost $1.3 billion in value following the breach.
The Indian government has been the target of over 30,000 cyberattacks this year up to the month of October, The Times of India reported, citing government figures. In 2020, the country’s government organizations faced more than 50,000 cyber security incidents, according to the outlet.