Twitter accounts hacked: Maharashtra cyber police issues advisory on precautions on social media for citizens

Updated: Jul 16, 2020, 20:15 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The Maharashtra Cybersecurity has asked Twitter to inform them about any cybersecurity breach that may target Indian Twitter users and prominent Indian Twitter profiles

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

After Twitter accounts of several eminent personalities including former US president Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates were hacked, the Maharashtra Cybersecurity issued an advisory and urged people to be alert and not trust content posted on social media handles blindly.

Elaborating on the account hacking incident, the Maharashtra Cybersecurity said that there could be a possibility that the hackers could try and gain access to prominent Indian Twitter profiles in a similar fashion. In times of the pandemic, any such hacking incident can cause widespread rumors and lead to chaos, the report stated.

As per the advisory analysis, the hacked twitter profiles tweeted about cryptocurrency scam but it is likely that such incidents can be used for malicious intents like spreading fake news and misinformation.

The advisory further said that the hackers could use such an incident to spread fake news and misinformation among people. "Citizens should be alert and not blindly trust any tweet," the advisory said.

After hacking accounts of prominent personalities, the attackers posted tweets that appeared to promote a cryptocurrency scam. The fake tweets offered to send USD 2,000 for every USD 1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address. Taking cognisance of the matter Twitter's support team said, "We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools."

The Maharashtra Cybersecurity has asked Twitter to inform them about any cybersecurity breach that may target Indian Twitter users and prominent Indian Twitter profiles. Furthermore, the Maharashtra Cybersecurity has appealed people to not fall for cryptocurrency scams which are on a widespread on social media.

Precautions to follow as per Maharashtra Cyber team:

  • 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 rumors, 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 center of the respective social media platforms
  • Report any suspicious incident to your nearest police station or on www.cybcrcrimc.gov.in

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