PLDT’s Twitter account hacked by group demanding good internet connection

By Melissa Luz Lopez, CNN Philippines

Landline and internet service provider PLDT’s Twitter account was hacked Thursday afternoon, with hackers demanding better internet services.

A group which identified itself as the Legion hackers claimed control over the telecommunications giant’s customer services account @PLDT_Cares, renaming it as “PLDT Doesn’t Care” at 12:34 p.m. It was a verified account maintained by the company.

The group used the iconic Guy Fawkes mask borrowed from the movie “V for Vendetta,” the logo which online hackers – who also call themselves the Anonymous collective – often use to break into online accounts and websites of big brands and even government institutions.

“As the pandemic arises, Filipinos need fast internet to communicate with their loved ones. Do your job. The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic join us. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us,” the tweet read, which has been retweeted for over 44,000 times as of 2 p.m.

The statement came as strict stay-at-home rules are being observed in parts of the Philippines as the government’s measure to control the spread of COVID-19. Students and workers have had to resort to virtual lectures and meetings as part of life under the “new normal.”

The tweet ​was taken down at 2:30 p.m., and the account’s display name has been reverted to “PLDT Cares.”

In a statement, the network said it has recovered the account and assured customers that the security breach “did not affect PLDT’s network and services.”

The internet provider countered the group’s demand for better connectivity, saying that it has provided subscribers with speed boosts and higher data allocations for Fibr customers and Smart subscribers.

“As a result, our customers have been using more extensively a wide range of data and digital services that have helped them cope with life under lockdown,” PLDT said in a statement, noting that they invest heavily in their fiber and LTE networks.

The hackers also earlier threatened that PLDT’s rival, Globe Telecom, will be next on their agenda. This tweet has been deleted.

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