They’re back: DOST council regains control of Facebook page after hacking

April 19, 2023 - 11:42 AM
DOST Council_page
Screengrab of the Facebook page of DOST's Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development as of April 19, 2023 (DOST PCIEERD/Facebook)

After over a week of being hacked, a council under the Department of Science and Technology announced that it has fully regained control of its official Facebook page.

The DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) on Wednesday said that its Facebook page “is back” after it was compromised during Holy Week.

“We couldn’t make this without the help of our partner at Meta,” the council added, referring to the parent company of Facebook.

“Just in time as we celebrate our anniversary for years of strong collaborations with our partners. Watch out as we focus on celebrating ‘collaboration,'” DOST-PCIEERD continued.

The announcement was welcomed by its followers in the comments, who congratulated them for regaining their access to its official page with over 73,000 followers.

It was on April 7, a Good Friday, when the DOST-PCIEERD surprised Facebook users by suddenly changing its profile picture to that of an identified man carrying a toddler.

The move didn’t go unnoticed, with some commenting that “April Fools’ Day is already over.”

“Admin reveal po ba ‘yan,” another online user had asked.

A warning to the followers was also deleted from the page.

“We would like to inform everyone that the DOST-PCIEERD Facebook page is experiencing technical difficulties,” the DOST-PCIEERD said before. “Rest assured that we are addressing this with our partners from Meta.”

READ: A baby and a face: DOST council’s official page profile pic replaced

The following day, the council informed its followers that it had already “notified” Meta of the hacking.

“We are aware of the value of our Facebook page to our clients who want to stay in touch. We want to reassure you that we are making every effort to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Data security for our clients is a key concern for us,” it said before.

“We acknowledge that the page breach may have alarmed and perplexed some of our followers. Yet our services, client information, and systems we deploy were unaffected by this problem. We will continue to provide the same level of attention and support to our stakeholders,” the DOST-PCIEERD added.

It also asked its followers to be wary of any “odd” online posts or behavior that its Facebook page might initiate.

Apart from the unidentified man, the hacker uploaded a picture of a woman speaking to an audience as the page’s profile picture.

RELATED: DOST council urges FB followers to report ‘odd’ posts, behavior amid hacking

Last week, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said it had recorded at least 3,000 “high-level” cyberattacks in the country from 2020 to 2022.