data security

Facebook hacks run rampant in Mindanao: Army, DepEd, politician lose pages

Cong Corrales, Ferdinand Zuasola

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Facebook hacks run rampant in Mindanao: Army, DepEd, politician lose pages

HACKED. The hacked Facebook page of the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion based in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

Screen capture

The Army cautions the public about messages or posts from the hacked Facebook account of the 58th Infantry Battalion, especially those concerning funds

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Hackers have once again struck and gained control of the Facebook accounts belonging to an Army battalion in Northern MIndanao, the Department of Education (DepEd) office in the Soccsksargen region, and a politician in the Davao region.

The 58th Infantry Battalion of the Army confirmed on Tuesday that it no longer has administrative control over its official Facebook account.

Situated in Sitio Migbanday, Poblacion, Claveria town, Misamis Oriental, the 58th IB fell victim to a hacking incident, resulting in the display of explicit content on its Facebook account’s “My Day” feature since Monday. The feature allows users to share time-limited snippets of their day with friends using Messenger.

Its wall, however, has remained untouched as of posting time. Its last post was dated May 15.

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According to 2nd Lieutenant Maryknoll Rhea Cuis, spokesperson for the battalion, their official Facebook account was compromised at approximately 2:30 pm on Monday.

“We suddenly lost access to our Facebook account, and all administrators were removed,” Cuis said.

On Tuesday morning, the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade issued a statement on its Facebook page, urging the public to disregard any messages or posts from the hacked 58th IB account, especially those soliciting donations or requesting fund transfers through any platform.

“To all followers of the 58th Infantry ‘Dimalulupig’ Battalion, Philippine Army, we would like to inform you that the official Facebook page of the 58IB has been hacked by an individual. Recovery efforts are ongoing, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused,” the post read.

Meanwhile, in Cotabato, the official Facebook page of the DepEd Division in the province has uploaded 15 explicit videos on Monday alone, weeks after falling victim to a similar hacking incident. The page boasts 46,000 followers.

DepEd-Cotabato province information technology officer JoeyMark Cantere said they lost control of the Facebook account on April 27. 

After several unsuccessful attempts to recover the account, Cantere said they reported the matter to the Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP). 

Cantere said they were still awaiting a response from Facebook regarding their complaint and request for help.

“It is indeed a problem as it has already affected our operations. But we remain hopeful that we will regain control of our Facebook page,” Cantere said.

In Davao Oriental, provincial board member Harold Montes reported the hacking of his two Facebook accounts, including his official page.

In a public statement made on Monday, Montes said, “I want to inform you that my Facebook account, Harold A. Montes, was hacked on May 16, 2023. Along with my account, my page, BM Harold A. Montes, was also compromised. This unfortunate incident has resulted in the loss of previously available media documentation and transactions.”

Montes and his team were working diligently to regain control of his Facebook accounts and ensure uninterrupted service online.

The two hacked Facebook pages of Montes have a combined following of 11,500. –

Cong Corrales and Ferdinand Zuasola are Aries Rufo Journalism fellows.

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