The verified Twitter account of India's top diplomat to the United Nations was briefly taken over by suspected Turkish hackers early on Sunday, 14 January, morning. The Turkish hacking group Ayyıldız Tim claimed responsibility for the attack and managed to take over the president of the World Economic Forum's account over the weekend as well.
India's permanent representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin's Twitter handle @AkbaruddinIndia was changed to @AkbaruddinSyed before two photos of Pakistan's flag and the country's President Mamnoon Hussain were posted.
Akbaruddin's blue verified badge disappeared after the username was changed.
In a pinned tweet, the group wrote in both Turkish and English: "You are hacked by the Turkish cyber army Ayyıldız Tim! We got your DM correspondence! We will show you the power of the Turk! I love Pakistan."
The group also reportedly tweeted a link to the YouTube video of Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor's classic 1951 song "Awaara Hoon".
After Twitter was made aware of the attack, Akbaruddin's account was briefly blocked and later restored. The offending tweets have since been taken down.
"I'm back. It will take more than a hack to keep me down. Thanks to @TwitterIndia and many others who helped," Akbaruddin tweeted around 12pm on Sunday.
The hackers also managed to hijack the verified account of Borge Brende, the president of the World Economic Forum and former minister of foreign affairs for Norway.
The group pinned a similar tweet claiming responsibility for the attack and posted a video featuring clips of other public figures who have been targeted by hackers, including former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
The header image on Brende's account was changed to a picture of an eagle with the hacking group's logo. The World Economic Forum acknowledged the hack and said Twitter has been notified of the attack.
Brende's account was later restored and tweeted, "We got the account back. Thank you."
The Turkish hacking group has previously claimed responsibility for hacking the Twitter account of Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis, the US Department of Defense's official website, Microsoft Bosnia's site and a number of websites in Israel, Netherlands and Canada.