After several Twitter accounts, belonging to eminent personalities including Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet, were hacked in a coordinated cybersecurity attack, the Maharashtra Cyber on Thursday has asked Twitter to inform them of any such cyber-security breach incident that might target Indian users and prominent Indian profiles.
Maharashtra Cyber has also asked other Social media platforms to be on the lookout for a similar incident, and inform them in case of a cybersecurity breach.
Maharashtra Cyber has issued an advisory on precautions to be followed by citizens. It further said it is being vigilant about the possibility of any such incident happening in the Indian cyberspace since several Indian public personalities use Twitter frequently.
Precautions to follow for citizens
Do not blindly trust content posted on social media platforms. Take your time to determine if the content posted is truthful or fake.
Do not spread or further circulate any posts that seem like fake news or rumours, or promoting hate speech and any kind of violence.
Do not fall for cryptocurrency scams that are widespread on social media.
Follow good cybersecurity practices like using strong passwords, changing passwords frequently, and using 2-factor authentication.
Citizens can also report any security problems in their social media accounts to the support centre of the respective social media platform.
Report any suspicious incident to your nearest police station or on www.cybercrime.gov.in
Overview of the incident
Various prominent handles with millions of followers tweeted a cryptocurrency scam, which asked users to send Bitcoin, and the person tweeting would send back double of the Bitcoin amount to the user. Many Twitter users fell prey to the scam.
Owing to the scale of the cyberattack, Twitter soon disabled some of its features. Normal services were resumed after a couple of hours.
Twitter support has found the cause of the attack to be a social engineering attack. They have revealed that some employees having access to Twitter internal tools have had their accounts compromised, which led to the hackers gaining internal control of the prominent Twitter handles.
Analysis of the Incident
It is possible that hackers could try to gain access to prominent Indian Twitter profiles in a similar fashion.
The hacked Twitter profiles tweeted a cryptocurrency scam. However, it is likely that such an incident can be used for malicious intents like spreading fake news and misinformation.
In times of the pandemic, any such hacking incident can cause widespread rumours and lead to chaos. Citizens should be alert and not blindly trust any tweet.