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Twitter account of Ministry of Statistics hacked; Gets Elon Musk name, photo

The official Twitter account of the Ministry of Statistics was briefly hacked. Hackers changed the name and display picture of the account to Elon Musk and sent malicious tweets.

By: HT TECH
Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 10:55 IST
Hackers broke into the Twitter account of the Ministry of Statistics. After changing the name and display picture to Elon Musk, they proceeded to send malicious tweets. (REUTERS)

The official Twitter account of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation was hacked on Thursday afternoon. The hackers changed both the name and the display picture of the account and replaced these with those of the Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The incident did not last long, and the Ministry was able to regain control on the account quickly. However, in the short span of time, the hackers sent out malicious tweets asking people to click on links to win rewards. The tweet was visible for a brief while to all the 40,000 followers of the account as well as anyone who visited the page.

One of the tweets said, “unique opportunity" to become a millionaire. Over $7,200,000 are left in the mystery box to be won,” followed by a link, which appears to be a phishing or malware link. It cannot be assessed whether anyone followed the link or not. The Wire reported that The Ministry of Statistics had to contact the cyber crime cell and reset the password in order to regain access to the account.

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Ministry of Statistics Twitter account Hacked

The entire incident was over within half an hour but in that time, the hackers were not only able to change the display picture and the name of the Twitter account to Elon Musk, they also appear to have sent out tweets and replied to some people using the account. At the time of publishing, the Ministry had not issued a statement.

This is not the first time a government Twitter account has been compromised. In January 2022, the Twitter account of Information and Broadcasting was hacked in a similar fashion with the hackers changing the name of the page to Elon Musk and sending tweets inviting people to a telegram group. In December 2021, PM Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was also hacked and false tweets claiming India had adopted Bitcoin as official tender was shared.

These incidents have brought scrutiny towards the micro-blogging site’s security and management. And with so many hacking incidents, it has become important for Twitter users to protect themselves using stronger passwords and multi-factor authentication. Twitter has not made any official statement regarding this.

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First Published Date: 17 Mar, 18:40 IST
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