DOST council’s Facebook hacked

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star
DOST council�s Facebook hacked
Photo shows log-in prompt of social media website Facebook.
AFP / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Facebook account was hacked during the long Lenten holidays.

In a statement released on Saturday, DOST-PCIEERD said the hacking was carried out on April 7 at 12 a.m.

The posting of photographs of unknown individuals on the DOST-PCIEERD’s official Facebook account had puzzled and drawn concern among members of the science and technology community and other stakeholders.

“As soon as we learned about the incident, we notified Facebook’s parent company, Meta. DOST-PCIEERD is working closely with Meta to ensure that our services are not hampered in any way and to regain access to and control over our page,” DOST-PCIEERD said.

“We are aware of the value of our Facebook page to our clients who want to stay in touch. We want to reassure you that we are making every effort to resolve the problem as soon as possible,” the agency added.

“Data security for our clients is a key concern for us. We acknowledge that the page breach may have alarmed and perplexed some of our followers. Yet our services, client information, and systems we deploy were unaffected by this problem. We will continue to provide the same level of attention and support to our stakeholders,” DOST pointed out.

“Nonetheless, as a precaution, we ask those who follow our Facebook page to be wary of any odd online posts or behaviors and to report them right away to either our organization or Facebook,” it urged.

Earlier, multinational cybersecurity firm Kaspersky had issued a warning to cyber and internet social media-savvy Filipino netizens to be wary of the mischief that cyberhackers would be up to as they ramp up their shenanigans during the extended break.

“Unfortunately, cybercriminals get excited about holidays, too. To refresh everyone’s memory, the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist back in 2016 is an example of a successful cyber attack, which happened on the first day of Lunar New Year, a national holiday in the Philippines and the rest of Asia,” the company said in an advisory issued on Holy Tuesday.

“Now that the world has reopened, travel is back with a vengeance this year, hence the term ‘travel revenge.’ Whether Filipinos are scheduling holiday trips or just staycation-ing during the long weekends, it’s important to observe simple digital security practices so you can get to sit back and relax as you take your well-deserved vacation,” Chris Connell, Kaspersky managing director for Asia Pacific, said.

“Security-first thinking opens doors for a more enjoyable holiday break, especially for Filipinos who are among the world’s most active online users,” Connell said.

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