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Uttar Pradesh Government’s Account ‘Temporarily’ Hacked, NFT Tweets Posted.

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TL;DR Breakdown 

  • The Twitter account of the Uttar Pradesh Government was hijacked briefly by hackers this morning.
  • This cyberattack joins the list of recently hacked Indian governmental Twitter accounts.
Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state

The official Twitter handle of the Government of Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state – is reported to have been attacked by hackers this morning. While the state authorities have not issued an official statement addressing the incident, it is understood the social media account was later recovered by the government – 15 minutes after the cyberattack.

However, the perpetrators of this cybersecurity breach had already posted about 100 spam tweets, tagging a couple of accounts including bots and individuals related to the crypto space. Some of these accounts were in other states in India or outside the country.

Apart from the government’s account, the State Information Department’s Twitter handle for fact-checking (Info Uttar Pradesh Fact Check) was also compromised and the handle is yet to be retrieved – at the time of this report.

Furthermore, the perpetrators of this act appeared to be NFT enthusiasts or scammers as both state governments’ social media accounts had a pinned tweet with a “beanzy army” link. The tweet read: “In celebration for the reveal of the Beanz Official Collection, we have opened up an airdrop to all active NFT traders in the community for the next 24 hours! Claim your beanz. Take the red bean fren.”

The Beanz NFT collection is a set of 20,000 NFTs released on March 31, 2022.

In addition to these events today, the Punjab National Congress, an opposition party in Punjab, had its account taken over by hackers who posted a series of tweets. These posts were exactly the same as those on the UP government account.

Uttar Pradesh government accounts joins the list of hacked Indian Twitter handles.

It is worth noting that these cyber attacks are part of a series of attacks on Indian authorities/institutions ‘ Twitter handles. These cyber-attacks are suspected to have been perpetrated by the same individual/group as the compromised accounts all posted content relating to NFTs. On Saturday, the official account of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh – Yogi Adithyanath – was also hacked. His account’s profile picture was changed to that of a bored Ape Yacht NFT.

Old tweets of the account were deleted and over 300 new tweets were posted. Through the account of the state government, a thorough investigation is reported to have begun, and it’s been led by the cyber experts of the UP Police. Other government entities whose Twitter accounts have been compromised by hackers over the last 3 days include the University Grants Commission and the India Meteorological Department. 

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