Cyberhacking of DSWD 7 Facebook Page Causes Disruption

Security is one of the most important aspects the government needs to ensure safety transcending the digital space.  

Photo from University of San Diego Online Degrees

But what if the government’s security was the one attacked? 

Another Government Facebook Page was the target of cyber hacking, and it’s the official Facebook page of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD 7). The official Facebook page used to promote health-related and outreach programs is now showing random videos from “Kashmir Telegraph Network,” “MB Kitchenette,” and “Anime Soul,” among others.

Photo from DSWD Region VII Official Facebook Page

In a text message to Sunstar Cebu on Tuesday, Leah Quintana said it was the first time the account with 524,000 followers was breached. She also mentioned that they are currently taking action against the issue but did not provide details as a security precaution.

Last year, numerous National Government Facebook Pages were attacked by Hackers. The Cebu City Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) Facebook account posted photos of lactating women. The Philippine Statistics Authority 7’s official Facebook page also encountered the same fate last July 2023, putting their digital operations on hold. One of the most concerning was the breach of the cybersecurity of the House of Representatives, which led to the manipulation of their schedule of committee meetings and the defacement of the page’s photo journals and press releases.

Screen capture from House of Representatives website

Concerning numerous cyberhacking issues of Government Facebook pages, Joshua Corona, focal person for the Management Information System Services of the Department of Information and Communications Technology Region 7, advised the activation of multi-factor authentication. 

Those who manage Facebook pages should ensure that they enable multi-factor authentication for the administrators, including those who have roles in the page such as editors and authors.” 

He also pointed out that the hackers target Facebook users who are page administrators of these pages. He advised that administrators not only observe discretion in their roles but also fully comply with security checks and regularly update “strong passwords” on their accounts.

“The weakest link in cybersecurity is usually the users. Most of the time, the one managing the page gets hacked.” 

The numerous cyber hacking cases should be a wake-up call to strengthen cybersecurity—not only for government sites but also for the citizens’ personal digital media platforms. 

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