Multiple Indian Twitter accounts hacked, NFT content posted
In the latest round of cyberattacks against Indian politicians and entities, multiple Twitter accounts, including those of the Uttar Pradesh state government, chief minister, and others were hacked
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Over the past few days, the Twitter accounts of numerous Indian government and political entities have been hacked, with NFT-related content posted on their feeds.
On April 9, the Twitter account of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was compromised when the profile picture was replaced with a ‘bored ape NFT’, and hundreds of new tweets were uploaded to promote an NFT project named ‘Azuki NFT’. Several old tweets were deleted as well.
The Uttar Pradesh government was targeted the following day, and the perpetrators tweeted about the same NFT project and invited people to engage in ‘Azuki Airdrops’. The hackers posted a link to the website of ‘beanz army’, which said, “We have decided to give back to our community by distributing extra airdrop claims to holders of Azuki and other NFTs. Claim your airdrop of BEANZ and become involved with the Azuki ecosystem using the interactive Azuki NFT”.
Another victim was the Punjab National Congress. Within minutes of the hack, the account had posted over 100 tweets, tagging random accounts involved in NFTs and cryptocurrencies. The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Indian Meteorological Department were also impacted.
Because the attackers posted similar tweets regarding NFTs and changed all the pinned messages to the same promotional content for the ‘Beanz Official Collection’, all of the hacks are assumed to have been carried out by the same individuals or entities.
These hacks are the most recent in a series of cyberattacks targeting Indian politicians and institutions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the subject of a similar attack in December 2021, when his Twitter account was hacked with a message claiming that India had embraced bitcoin as legal tender and would distribute it to all citizens. Although the tweet was promptly deleted and his office stated that the account had been briefly hacked, this was not the first time the Prime Minister's account, which has more than 70 million followers, had been hacked.
According to tweets from the Uttar Pradesh government's official account, both the state government and the chief minister's Twitter accounts were later restored. A case was also filed in connection with the matter in Lucknow.
The writer is founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist.