India: Three institutional handles hacked, renamed to ‘Elon Musk’ to promote crypto

Less than a month after Twitter account of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hacked, major institutional handles in India were reportedly renamed “Elon Musk” over the weekend.

Following which, screenshots from Sunday reveal that tweets promoting cryptocurrency were posted soon after. In the earlier incident as well, PM’s hacked handle had tweeted that the country has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. Further adding that the Indian government has purchased 500 BTCs to distribute to all the residents.

This time around, the local report noted that Twitter accounts under attack included handles of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Indian Medical Association (IMA), and micro-finance bank Mann Deshi Mahila Bank. These verified accounts posted crypto promotions under the dubious link as “Elon Musk.”

Sources to the paper claim that the incident could have been a result of a compromised password or admin clicking a malicious link while being logged in. Further, it has been reported that CERT-IN, the IT security group of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, is probing the incident.

What’s coming in 2022

With an estimated $6 billion worth of investment in India, the year was a testament to skyrocketing retail interest. Another report has noted that VCs might continue to support the sector in the year ahead as the country is already home to two major crypto unicorns.

Crypto funds raised an estimated $638 million as of 27 December, according to Tracxn data cited by ET. This is a 17 times increase over $37.56 million raised in 2020.

With that being said, major crypto platforms are also under taxmen’s radar over alleged tax evasion. And watchdogs are barring regulated offerings from crypto exposure till a legislative framework is drawn in the country.

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