FEU, PUP community told to protect online privacy after recent portal hacking

June 18, 2020 - 9:06 PM
Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay

Two universities recently announced that their respective student portals were hacked more than a week after the massive emergence of empty “clone” accounts on Facebook.  

Far Eastern University and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines took to social media to inform the students of the hacking incidents which they have already forwarded to the National Privacy Commission. 

In a statement issued on Facebook on June 18PUP’s Information and Communications Technology Office (PUP-ICTO) said that they have conducted an “initial probe” on the report that the PUP Student Information System (SIS) was hacked and caused “exposure of some student personal data.” 

“Initial investigation reveals that no sensitive users’ information was compromised in this incident. ICTO is continuing its investigation and will implement measures to further strengthen the security features of the information systems of the University,” the statement read.  


Posted by Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Official) on Thursday, June 18, 2020


PUP-ICTO also informed members of the PUP community that it has forwarded an email via PUP’s own email system containing tips to protect their privacy online.  

Once the office is done with the internal probe, the ICTO will submit its findings to the NPC and the Department of Information and Communications Technology. 

FEU, meanwhile, also issued a statement that its FEU Manila Student Portal experienced an “intrusion” last June 16. 

The university also informed the FEU community that because of this incident, the student portal is temporarily unavailable and apologized for the inconvenience it caused.  

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused the entire FEU Community,” the statement read 

“We assure you that this incident is being taken seriously. The Student Portal is temporarily unavailable as we assess the situation and implement corrective measures before making it accessible,” it added.  

FEU assured that they have already informed the NPC of the data breach and coordinated with “an external cybersecurity provider” to strengthen their digital security system. 

The management then advised FEU students, teachers and staff to reset their passwords and accounts associated with the institution.  

“We advise all FEU students to reset the passwords of their Microsoft Office 365 accounts. Furthermore, we highly recommend that all students, faculty, and staff do not use the same passwords in their different online accounts,” FEU said.  

These events came less than a month after the sudden spike of fake or ghost accounts on Facebook of some members of the country’s top universities Ateneo de Manila UniversityUniversity of the PhilippinesDe La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas. The clone accounts also came amid the widespread calls to junk the controversial anti-terrorism bill.  

The students’ relatives and friends, vocal critics of the Duterte administration, and students from other universities also shared sightings of their dummy accounts.  

Despite the public concern, the response of authorities, however, was not favorable to the victims.  

Facebook said that it has yet to find any evidence of malicious or coordinated acts exhibited by the fraudulent profiled.  

The National Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, perceived that it might just be “a glitch” in the system.  

On June 12, FEU shared an album of infographics of steps on how their students can protect themselves against data intrusion. 

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Posted by Far Eastern University on Friday, June 12, 2020