Saturday, April 13, 2024

DOH Twitter account still promoting crypto after claims of ‘full control’

Despite claims of having full control over its official Twitter account, the Department of Health (DOH) still has a tweet up promoting the cryptocurrency Ethereum.

Last Saturday, April 22, the DOH Twitter account got renamed to “Vela Exchange”. Furthermore, the account had posted and promoted a tweet that said “low key cringe that we’re running promotions lol anyway, pump eth ⬅️”

The DOH was able to revert the account back to its official name later that day. The agency denied that its account had been hacked, that its platform managers “have full control over the DOH platforms”, and downplayed the incident as having occurred “due to a technical glitch”.

However, an active tweet, as of posting time, by the DOH account still states “eth should honestly pump to $4000 by next month. the doh will pump it 🙏”.

The tweet has gone viral, and the agency has been met with widespread disdain, mockery and speculation of being compromised.

Netizens reacted with cryptocurrency jokes, memes, and exasperation.

Examples of replies to the post include:

“just doh eth”

“DOH openminded din pala”

“kek”

“Is this medical advice?”

“This is the most engagement y’all’ve had in years
Giver intern a raise”

“its more fun in the philippines”

That the tweet is still up is an alarming situation because it is proof that the DOH is remiss in protecting its assets and has not been “closely monitoring” its Twitter account enough.

The Philippines has the second highest number of Web threats attacks last year, ahead of Ukraine, and just behind Mongolia, according Kaspersky Security Network.

Despite this, Philippine government agencies still do not have enough a culture of cybersecurity and sometimes downplay or dismiss cyber incidents.

Just last week, cybersecurity researcher Jeremiah Fowler reported on the existence of an unprotected database publicly accessible online for at least six weeks. The data exposure contained over 1.2 million records of highly sensitive data and documents related to Philippine law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine National Police.

The Marcos administration needs to make cybersecurity and cyber defense a top government priority to protect its citizenry.

It must allocate the proper budget for training of government agencies and personnel for cyber-awareness, spend on hardening online infrastructure, and pay competitive salaries to attract more cybersecurity professionals as the Philippine government only has five practicing experts in its roster, according to GMA News.

It is already the 2020s, and the Philippine government must keep up with the times.

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

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