PDEA-6 recovers Facebook page after hacking incident

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Region 6 successfully regained control of its Facebook page after a security breach by an unknown entity.

Ma. Graziella Tanaleon, PDEA-6’s public information officer, confirmed the recovery of their official page last Friday.

“Following multiple hacking incidents and technical issues, we are pleased to announce our page is operational again, providing the public with updates on our battle against illegal narcotics,” Tanaleon said.

PDEA-6 recognized the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for its swift action in resolving this cybersecurity issue.

“As we resume our mission as drug enforcement officers, and anti-drug advocates and protect our communities from illegal drugs, we remain dedicated to serving with integrity and excellence,” the statement added.

On April 23, PDEA-6 reported a suspected compromise of its official Facebook account. The Social Media Team of PDEA Region VI noticed the unauthorized access early that morning.

The anomaly was detected when the public information office attempted to post to the After Activity Report group chat, according to Tanaleon, who also mentioned ongoing monitoring of unauthorized login attempts since February 2024.

Tanaleon emphasized the external nature of the breach, dismissing the possibility of internal technical faults.

“The team noticed irregularities when attempting to access the official PDEA VI page, and upon further investigation, there were posts not made by authorized administrators. The password was previously changed numerous times in an attempt to secure the page,” she said.

Tanaleon noted that there were no technical issues on the regional office’s end that could have caused unauthorized access.

Thus, the “issue appears to be external to our systems,” she added.

When probed about the motive behind the cyber-attack, she speculated it could be for “monetization” purposes.

The PDEA-6 Facebook page currently boasts a following of 32,000 users.


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