Govt asks Congress for details of Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Govt asks Congress for details of Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) that is probing the hacking of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account has sought details from the party about those who had access to the handle.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2016 10:00 IST
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was hacked by a group of anonymous hackers.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was hacked by a group of anonymous hackers.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) that is probing the hacking of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account has sought details from the party about those who had access to the handle.

Gandhi’s account was hacked a couple of weeks ago by a group of anonymous hackers who then hacked Congress official Twitter account and flooded the popular social networking site with a barrage of expletive-laden messages.

The same group, which calls Legion, also claimed to have hacked the Twitter accounts of controversial liquor baron Vijay Mallya and TV journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar.

According to sources, the ministry has said that to verify the breach all details of the account will have to be examined.

After Gandhi’s account was compromised, the Delhi Police cyber cell was informed that the Twitter handle logs showed that tweets from Gandhi’s and Congress’ accounts were generated from Sweden, Romania, the US, Canada and Thailand.

Sources in the party, however, said they have not received any request from the ministry to share the details of Gandhi’s account.

After the accounts were hacked, the Congress party raised questions on the digital safety of all Indians and said it “reflects disturbing insecurities of the prevalent fascist culture in the country”.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala targeted the government for the lack of digital safety saying if it could not protect a private platform for conversation of crores of the people of India, how it could ever protect them from being hacked in terms of their “financial money”.

A Twitter account can be hacked in one or more ways. A hacker can either choose to download a tool from thousands of websites available online to hack a person’s profile or use the sheer brute force of programming to get a password, change it and hijack the account.

Sources said the same protocol will be followed to verify the cases of hacking and the journalists too have been asked to submit login details to the ministry.

Twitter also has been asked to pay attention to unusual movement and increasing security.

In the wake of threats issued by Legion that their next data dump could be sansad.nic.in, the government has strengthened the MeitY’s cyber security arm Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

Sources said advisories have been issued to all payment platforms, banks, ATMS and digital wallets to report any suspicious movement.

“There will be a review and hardening of security walls at all levels. Also, a review of IT act to make it more deterrent will be carried out. A closed group will be set up to reinforce the security architecture in consultation with the home ministry,” a source pointed out.

With the government moving towards digital payments, a multi-agency audit of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will be carried out. While a central information security official will be deputed in all departments and ministries, a crack team has been established in CERT-In.