PM Koirala’s twitter handle ‘compromised’

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
PM Koirala’s twitter handle ‘compromised’

Jun 24, 2015-

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the Nepali twitter sphere was abuzz when a ‘hacker’ tweeted from the Prime Minister’s Official handle that his account had been hijacked. “BREAKING NEWS: PM Sushil Koirala’s twitter account has been hacked!!,” read a tweet from the handle @pm_handle.

A while later, the tweet was deleted and there has been no activity from the account ever since.  Prime Minister’s Press Advisor Prateek Pradhan confirmed the hacking and said that he had taken measure to report it. He also tweeted that no other handles were created by the PM’s office. “Handle @ PM _Nepal is out of control. No other account has been started from PM’s office. Will update as soon as things are clear,” he tweeted.

 It is important to note that no automated messages or threats have been made which implies that the incident is not a case of a sophisticated hack. Looking at the nature of the tweet, it seems like an internal member had ‘tweet-jacked’ the account which was opened 13 days ago and has over 11,500 followers.

Officials said the twitter account has been suspended until they are confident about its security. PM’s twitter has only 27 tweets so far. Koirala became the prime minister February last year.

“Securing an institution account, be it from sophisticated hacks or internal wrongdoing, is important,” said Bhupendra Khanal, CEO of Simplify 360, an Indian social media management company.

Khanal cited examples of Indian institution and their PM office, where they have established a Digital/Social Media Lab within the government set-up.

“It should have a solid social media strategy, very powerful social media management platform and smart folks trained on new media,” he said.

The team comprises of domain experts, communication experts such as analysts and content writers and technical experts on new media.

The cybercrime cell can use the IP address and other information through Twitter and ISPs, and track down the hacker.

According to Khanal, India’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell has a good setup. The same applies for the Indian government. Other parties in the country, the Aam Aadmi Party and Indian Congress also have good setups, and most regional parties are getting there.

Published: 25-06-2015 08:28

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