Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Instagram account of PCOO hacked, posts deleted

The official Instagram account of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) with the handle @pcoogov has been hacked, with the previous 929 posts deleted and replaced with two camel-themed videos which were timestamped Tuesday, January 7 afternoon.

The profile photo of the account was replaced with camels overlaid with Arabic text, and the description of the account has been replaced with “🐪 لطامات الصفر”, which run through Google Translate says “Zero safety”.

The first video posted on the hacked account featured SUVs and pickup trucks driving alongside camels in an apparent camel race in Kuwait, with Arabic music in the background.

The second video featured a still image of a sign featuring the “King Abdulaziz Camel Festival”, also accompanied with Arabic music.

The account also featured three Instagram stories, with the first one bearing the text “Kuwait”.

Currently, the account is following six instagram profiles with Arabic names, as well as one verified Instagram account with the handle @ok_albertomartino.

PCOO assistant secretary for global media and public affairs Jusan Vincent “JV” Arcena stated on Wednesday, January 8:

“We decry the malicious act by unknown individuals who hacked the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s Instagram Page, with the handle @pcoogov. We are now looking into this matter and have coordinated with Facebook to resolve it immediately,” he said.

“The account has been locked by Facebook’s team so that hackers will no longer be able to use the account. In the meantime, we ask our followers to disregard any present and future activities on our Instagram page, until such time that the matter is resolved,” he added

The author is an ICT advocate and a member of Democracy.Net.PH, an ICT rights, governance, development, and security advocacy group


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