Over the past few days, it was reported that the private Telegram accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah had been compromised by hackers.
Following the incident, both the country’s top leaders have taken the matter to Twitter to call on the public to disregard any messages received from the account and report the matter to officials.
A police report was also lodged following the incident.
Perhatian: Akaun Telegram peribadi saya telah digodam oleh individu tidak bertanggungjawab. Mohon laporkan kepada pihak berkuasa dan abaikan sebarang mesej yang diterima daripada akaun berkenaan.— Ismail Sabri (@IsmailSabri60) August 8, 2022
Akaun Telegram saya telah digodam oleh pihak tidak bertanggungjawab yang menyalahgunakan nama dan gambar saya melalui aplikasi tersebut.— Saifuddin Abdullah 🇲🇾 (@saifuddinabd) August 8, 2022
Sesiapa yang menerima sebarang mesej daripada Telegram dinasihati abaikannya dan laporkan kepada pihak berkuasa.
Meanwhile, netizens on social media did not show much empathy for the politicians, with many questioning the effectiveness of the country’s cybersecurity. Many also pointed out how protected citizens actually are, when the leaders’ personal account is not spared from hackers.
“The country’s digital defence system is so weak. Even Malaysia’s number one official was hacked, what more us regular folk,” a netizen said.
“The leader of a nation, whose account has been hacked, telling the people on Twitter about the matter. Shouldn’t he keep the matter on the low and let authorities investigate the cause of the incident since this is a matter of national security?”
“What level in hell is this kind of crisis management?” another netizen said.
Some netizens even started the hashtag #Godammenteri and asked if the hacker is targeting the ministers in the country to show that the country’s cybersecurity is weak.
On the other hand, some netizens poke fun at Ismail Sabri and suggested that he might have left his devices at an unprotected location.
“Did he leave his phone at the mamak restaurant? Hahaha,” a netizen asked.
lemah betul kerajaan malaysia, senang kena hack. kena bom pun mesti senang juga— Saytri (@sayyidsafari) August 9, 2022
Another asked if the prime minister had logged in to his Telegram account at a cybercafe.
Nonetheless, it is not the first time Telegram has let its users down. According to lawyer and activist Michelle Yesudas, she said this is not the first instance where the software has apparently inconvenienced its users.
“Pity. Let’s be honest, Telegram has been consistently letting everyone down, from women, people from marginalised communities and now our prime minister,” she tweeted.
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