UNKNOWN

DECEMBER 2021

INDIA

TWITTER

DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS

"In September [2021], El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender and last month, the country's president Nayib Bukele said he planned to build the world's first "Bitcoin City" — funded initially by Bitcoin-backed bonds."

 

"Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi" "is a prolific tweeter and is the world's most popular incumbent politician on the platform, with more than 73 million followers on his main account."

 

"In late November, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told parliament that the government had no plans of recognizing Bitcoin as a currency, adding that it did not collect data on domestic bitcoin transactions."

 

"Earlier on Saturday, Modi spoke about cryptocurrencies at a virtual "Summit for Democracy" hosted by US President Joe Biden. In his address, he said that emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies should be used to empower democracy, not undermine it."

 

"We must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it," Modi said.

 

"The official Twitter account for India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, was briefly taken over by hackers and used to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam." "Several Twitter users shared screenshots of the tweet put out from the Indian Prime Minister's personal twitter account, @narendramodi, when it was compromised, according to CNN's affiliate News-18."

 

"A swiftly deleted tweet from his main @narendramodi handle said the Indian government had officially bought 500 bitcoin and was "and distributing them to all residents of the country", along with a scam link." "The fraudulent message in question said that India had declared bitcoin legal tender and was conducting a giveaway to celebrate the move."

 

"India has officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender. The government has officially bought 500 BTC and is distributing them to all residents of the country."

 

"No sooner had the hack been noticed than the government sprung into action, writing to Twitter about the incident and asking users to ignore the tweet." "About an hour later, another Tweet emerged from the official handle of the Prime Minister’s Office [PMO] clarifying that the PM’s Twitter account was restored after it was “very briefly compromised” and that the incident had been raised with the social networking firm." "The prime minister's office later said via its own Twitter account that Modi's account was "briefly compromised" and was later secured."

 

"The Twitter handle of PM @narendramodi was very briefly compromised. The matter was escalated to Twitter and the account has been immediately secured. In the brief period that the account was compromised, any Tweet shared must be ignored."

 

"Twitter did not specify the exact time at which Modi’s account was breached and when they were notified about the matter. In addition to that, there was no response with regards to the time taken to bring down the fake post, and if the social platform deploys any extra level of security standards for major public accounts such as those of political leaders, governments heads, and others."

 

"Sunday's hack ironically comes as India prepares to clamp down on a flourishing cryptocurrency trade with a new law likely to be introduced in parliament this month." "Details of the legislation remain unclear but the government has flagged a broad ban on private digital currencies."

 

"Last month, Modi's government said that it was preparing to introduce a bill that would "prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India." But the description of the bill also says it would allow for "certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.""

 

"Modi himself said last month that cryptocurrencies could "spoil our youth" and the central bank has repeatedly warned they could pose "serious concerns on macroeconomic and financial stability"."

For a brief period in December 2021, the prime minister of India's Twitter account was breached and used to launch a bitcoin giveaway scam, claiming in the usual way that bitcoin would be given away to anyone who first sent a payment to a wallet set up for the event. This lasted for roughly an hour before the tweet was removed. It is unclear how many individuals fell for the scheme.

Sources And Further Reading

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