PLDT support Twitter account hacked but network safe

Ian Nicolas Cigaral - Philstar.com
A group of hackers known as Anonymous Philippines attacked the Twitter account of PLDT's customer service, PLDT Cares, and changed the page's name to "PLDT Doesn't Care."
Screenshot from PLDT Cares' Twitter account

MANILA, Philippines — Hackers demanding for faster internet speed at a time people are staying indoors broke into one of the Twitter accounts of telco giant PLDT Inc. on Thursday afternoon.

A group of hackers known as Anonymous Philippines attacked the Twitter account of PLDT's customer service, PLDT Cares, and changed the page's name to "PLDT Doesn't Care."

The hackers called out the company for the quality of its service during the pandemic when Filipinos, most of whom are under quarantine and working from home, heavily depend on telco networks to get their jobs done online.

"As the pandemic arises, Filipinos need fast internet to communicate with their loved ones. Do your job. The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic join us," the hackers tweeted using PLDT Cares' account.

"We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us," they added.

The hackers' post garnered more than 22,000 retweets before it was taken down the PLDT Cares' page a little more than an hour since getting posted.

Anonymous Philippines also posted two more tweets using PLDT Cares' account, including a threat to hack the official Twitter page of PLDT's rival, Globe Telecom Inc. Both tweets have been deleted while the name of the account has been reverted to the original as of writing. Globe did not respond to request for comment.

The incident caught the listed company's attention minutes before the market closing. PLDT shares closed at P1,204 apiece on Thursday, down 0.58% from previous day. The main index performed worse, closing 0.84% down from Wednesday.

In a statement sent through e-mail after the hacking incident, PLDT assured its customers that "the security issue was limited only to the Twitter account and did not affect PLDT's network and services."

"Our @PLDT_Cares Twitter account has been recovered and is now ready to serve," the company said.

Responding to the hackers' demands for faster intermet connection, Ramon Isberto, the company's public affairs head, said in a text message PLDT has taken steps during the early parts of the Luzon lockdown to boost the reliability of their network. Since May 1, some areas in Luzon reverted to more relax quarantine measures, although the main business district of Metro Manila remained under stringent movement restrictions.

"PLDT provided speed boost for its Fibr customers and Smart increased data allocations for its mobile phone customers," he said, pertaining to PLDT's mobile arm, Smart Communications Inc.

Isberto also pointed out that PLDT continues to invest heavily in network roll-out despite movement restrictions and supply chain problems.

"As a result, our customers have been using ore extensively a wide range of data and digital services that have helped them cope with life under lockdown," he said.


Editor's Note: Manuel V. Pangilinan is the CEO of PLDT. A unit under PLDT's media conglomerate has a majority stake in Philstar Global Corp., which runs Philstar.com. This article was independently produced following editorial guidelines.

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