Twitter handle of statistics ministry hacked briefly; name changed to Elon Musk | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


New Delhi: The Twitter account of the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation was hacked briefly on Thursday afternoon with its name changed to Elon Musk and the display picture featuring the photo of the Tesla CEO.

A tweet from the official handle shared a link saying it is a “unique opportunity” to become a millionaire” and that “over $7,200,000 are left in the mystery box to be won”.

 

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The account was restored later in the afternoon.

Queries sent to the ministry and Twitter remained unanswered at the time of filing the story.

A person in the ministry, seeking anonymity, however, confirmed that the Twitter handle was hacked in the afternoon and that hackers had put out few replies to tweets from other accounts. The password was changed after the incident and the cybercrime team of the Delhi Police was informed.

Commenting on the incident, Pavan Duggal, cyber law expert and advocate at the Supreme Court said: “There could be a number of reasons behind this. India’s stance in the UN on the Russia and Ukraine conflict has off late made us a target for the hackers. It is expected that such activities could rise.”

Duggal added that India has not done much on the cyber security front. He further explained that India does not have a dedicated law on cyber security, which makes India an easy target.

“Plus there is no legal redressal mechanism that is available and consequently, we don’t have access to information from the service providers,” Duggal further said.

This is not the first time that a Twitter handle related to the Indian government has been hacked. Earlier, the Twitter handles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting were briefly hacked by cybercriminals.

In December last year, the Twitter account of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hacked for a brief period. Similarly, the account of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was compromised in January this year. 

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