Did Air India really cancel all its flights?

Did Air India really cancel all its flights?

DELHI — For the 147,000 people following Air India on Twitter, Thursday morning started with some serious drama.

Many were shocked to read a tweet seemingly issued by the airline on March 15 that said: “Last minute important announcement: All our flights have been cancelled. From now we will fly with Turkish Airlines.”

A series of odd tweets written in Turkish followed thereafter, with several retweeting the handle @AyyildizTim. Air India’s Twitter handle was also changed from @airindiain to @airindiaTR, while its verified blue checkmark – which Twitter uses to let people know that an account of public interest is authentic – was also removed.

Not surprisingly, the tweets sent passengers into a panic. But they were eventually reassured when Air India confirmed that its Twitter account had been temporarily hacked by suspected Turkish hackers.

“This is to inform all passengers that the Air India official Twitter handle has been hacked,” an Air India spokesperson said. “We are working with Twitter to get it back. All Air India Passengers please note that no flights have been cancelled as claimed in the Tweet.”

All the malicious tweets were removed and Air India’s official handle was restored.

A group of Turkish hackers called Ayyildiz Tim claimed responsibility for the cyber attack.

This is not the first time Indian officials and public figures have encountered hackers. In January, the Twitter account of Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador to the UN, was hacked. And as recently as last month, the Twitter accounts of Puducherry LG Kiren Bedi, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Das Gupta, actor Anupam Kher and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav were all compromised as well.

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