Blame it on Elon Musk
Politicians are giving the miss to cyber hygiene and officials say that changes in the policies of social media companies are behind the issue. Many accounts of BRS leaders and government handles getting hacked have come out recently.
On Monday BRS MP Ranjith Reddy’s Facebook account was hacked. He posted, “To all my friends and followers, please note that my #Facebook account has been hacked. Request everyone not to entertain and respond to any messages or requests made through that account.”
Similarly, the TSRTC MD’s account was also hacked. He posted, “On 22.01.2023 at 21:30 hrs the official Twitter account of the TSRTC MD (@tsrtcmdoffice) was compromised. This unfortunate incident happened despite all safety measures. We do not endorse any tweets from our handle from 22.01.2022 21:30 hrs till now.”
Less than a month ago Industries Minister KT Rama Rao’s official account @MinisterKTR was hacked. This is a government account and not his personal @ktrtrs account. The account changed the handle to Cool Cats.
Officials blame policy changes after Elon Musk took over and said that Twitter disabling the wo-factor authentication system is creating the problem.
“We send reminders to everyone to follow minimum cyber hygiene at regular intervals of 3 to 4 months. What we understood is that Twitter has some problem and the two factor authentication system is not working. Ever since Elon Musk took over, in a bid to cut costs they have stopped paying telecom companies. For OTP they have to pay telcos. In India they stopped paying telcos, so OTP has been stopped. This is creating the huge security problem,” officials said.
Despite giving regular alerts, just two days after sending an alert a minister’s handles were hacked. Officials said that it is a constant battle like a cat and mouse game. “Cyber hygiene is important,” officials emphasised.
Although officials restored the accounts quickly, the reason for the problem is taking time to figure out.
“The hackers are very smart. They are based out of other countries and do not leave any trace. In the case of Facebook and Instagram, hackers are sending messages which looks like the official page stating that your account has violated some issues. When the admin clicks on the link it is getting hacked. It is important to follow basic cyber hygiene,” an official said.