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Home >Opinion >Quick Edit >Modi’s Twitter account hack adds to security concerns

Social media platform Twitter Inc on Thursday confirmed that an account of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal website was hacked. The hacker asked the handle's followers, through a string of tweets, to use cryptocurrency as donation money for the PM National Relief Fund. The tweets have since been taken down, and the microblogging site says it is “actively investigating the situation". The affected Twitter account @narendramodi_in is the official handle for the Indian prime minister’s personal website (https://www.narendramodi.in/) and the Narendra Modi (NaMo) mobile app, and has 2.5 million followers.

It’s not known yet if any follower of the account fell prey and actually donated cryptocurrency. But the possibility of having been misled is real enough. And very worrisome. The hack-in messages sent out in Modi's name could have stirred up far more trouble than having his followers adopt a dubious means of exchange.

The accounts of influential leaders seem to be getting hacked with alarming regularity. In July, hackers had broken into Twitter’s internal systems and taken control of the accounts of Tesla boss Elon Musk, former US president Barack Obama, and current Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. This raises disturbing questions about the platform’s security controls. Twitter has the world’s who’s who on it, disseminating all kinds of information, including big policy decisions, a trend led by US President Donald Trump. Powerful political leaders and heads of state use the platform to interact with legions of their fans. One shudders to think of the consequences if a terror group were to take control of such handles and wreck havoc. By the time the truth of a hack emerges, it could well be too late. Twitter's engineers must fortify the platform’s safety walls. If not, perhaps those in authority should limit its use to social interaction.

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