On late Saturday night, the Twitter accounts of NDTV journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar were hacked by a group called ‘Legion’. The group posted on Twitter what it claimed to be the password of Dutt’s official email address. They threatened leaking 1 TB worth confidential data if any action was initiated against them whatsoever. Some other tweets which were posted by them were taken down once the accounts were retrieved.
“We have filed an FIR with the cyber police,” said KVL Narayan Rao, Group CEO of NDTV. The panic caused due to the hacking could not have gone unnoticed. Since the hackers tried to make public a partial dump of Dutt’s sent emails, NDTV was forced to put out an official statement at 3am on December 11.
“Attempts are being made to use emails out of context. We are asking relevant authorities, including courts, to take strong action,” read the three-line statement. When questioned about the theft of confidential data, Rao stated, “We have got some indications that it is not what they are talking about.” He refused to comment any further on the issue regarding the extent and seriousness of the confidential data stolen.
Earlier, Legion was behind the hacking of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallya’s Twitter accounts. The notorious hackers hinted that Lalit Modi, the former IPL Commissioner, currently residing in the United Kingdom, will be their next target.
While Legion claimed in a tweet that they don’t work for either the Bhartiya Janata Party or Prime Minister’s Office, some wondered as to why NDTV journalists were singled out. The network recently made headlines after an inter-ministerial committee set up by the Union I&B Ministry proposed banning NDTV India for a day because of its allegedly objectionable coverage of Pathankot terror attacks in January.
Both Dutt and Kumar were approached for a comment but they were unavailable at the time of filing of this news report.