Hackers took control of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s Russian-language Twitter account early on Thursday morning.
@MedvedevRussia, a verified account with more than 2.5 million followers, first raised suspicion with a tweet sent out at 11:12 pm PDT which reads (translation via The Interpreter): “I am resigning. I am ashamed of the actions of the government. Forgive me.”
The Interpreter notes:
Medvedev’s account, which was made for him during his historic visit to Twitter headquarters in Silicon Valley in 2011, has a verified blue check, so it is indeed his account.
But the statement is so out of character for a top Kremlin official — even one whose modest reform efforts have been sidelined as he castled roles with President Vladimir Putin — that everyone assumes the account is hacked.
“It’s obvious that this was a hooligan hacker prank,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Ekho Moskvy radio, according to The Guardian. “It shows once again the need to constantly observe the necessary level of security.”
On the hacked account, updates and other retweets seemed to express anger at Russian government policies. “Maybe better to ban electricity? Promise in the near future the government and think about it. But without me,” another tweet read (via Google Translate).
“I have long wanted to say. Vova! You are wrong!” read another (Vova is a Russian nickname for Vladimir). And later: “Russian citizens shouldn’t suffer from the problem of perception of common sense in the top leadership of the country.”
A group named Shaltay Boltay, or “Humpty Dumpty” in Russian, may have been behind the attack. The group appeared to take credit, tweeting a screenshot of a Medvedev tweet and writing “Ahha, well you understood ;),” according to The Guardian.
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