Data leak, lewd Facebook page: DepEd-affiliated pages report data breach

February 15, 2024 - 3:44 PM
DepEd Building
Facade of the building of the Department of Education in Pasig City. (The Philippine STAR/File photo)

Facebook pages of two entities affiliated with the Department of Education (DepEd) have been compromised by hackers.

A Facebook page affiliated with the DepEd’s executive committee in Pandi, Bulacan, the “DepEd Tayo – Pandi North District,” has been posting multiple lewd videos of women since last month. It has 87,000 followers as of writing.

A Facebook user left a review on the page by saying they “don’t recommend” the page.

The page of Bagong Barrio Elementary School – District of Pandi North has informed the public about the hacking incident in an advisory posted last month.

“Amin pong ipinapabatid na ang FB Page ng DepEd Tayo – Pandi North District ay na-hack. Ang mga hackers ay nakakuha ng access sa aming page at hindi pa po namin sila matanggal as administrator ng aming FB Page,” the advisory said.

“Hinihikayat po namin ang lahat ng aming followers na i-report, unfollow at block ang page. Paki-click lamang po ang link sa ibaba. Maraming salamat po sa inyong pag-unawa,” it added.

The Bagong Barrio Elementary School – District of Pandi North also posted a step-by-step process on reporting the compromised account through the comments.

Another division, the City Schools Division Office of Cabuyao, also experienced “data leak” of its system.

In a statement, the Cabuyao SDO through the DepEd Central Office said that it received an email from the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-PH) about the supposed leak.

“We reiterate that there was no hacking nor glitch that occured in all platform/system used by the SDO Cabuyao. Upon checking, we found out that all data are intact. Thus, we immediately activated security protocols and its preventive measures,” it said.

The Cabuyao SDO assured the public that its cybersecurity measures and protocols “have been effective in safeguarding our [their] network and sensitive information.”

“Regular security assessments and updates have contributed to maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of our data. We will continue to monitor our systems proactively to ensure a secure environment for our organization and its stakeholders,” the office added.

Deep Web Konek, which consists of cybersecurity enthusiasts monitoring dark web activities, claimed to have contacted the hackers regarding the issue.

“They provided additional samples of the DEPED-Cabuyao Data Leak after reading the statement issued by SDO-Cabuyao last night,” it said.

The alleged files ranged from Excel sheets to Word Documents.

Last February 14, during Valentine’s Day, Deep Web Konek also said that the DepEd Cabuyao Office had “experienced a massive breach” which included “financial-related, student and teacher records, and Google Email Accounts.”

“This breach was reported by us last January 11 but seems to have faded away after that and @DepEd_PH didn’t notice it,” the cybersecurity group added.

Education Undersecretary Michael Poa said that the agency was verifying the reported data leak with the coordination of the Department of Information and Communication Technology.

“We have instructed the field offices to run diagnostics and verify if there was indeed a hack. No report as of the moment as verification is ongoing,” he said on Wednesday.

Last week, it was reported that hackers in China attempted to break into the Philippine president’s and government agencies’ websites and email systems.

READ: Philippines wards off cyber attacks from China-based hackers

This was not the first time government-affiliated pages have been compromised with lewd content.

Last year, the Davao City’s Transport and Traffic Management Office shocked the public when it posted explicit videos of women, similar to the ones posted on the DepEd Tayo – Pandi North District page.

RELATED: FB page of Davao transport and traffic office spams followers with lewd videos