The official Facebook page of First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has been hacked and apparently brought down by cyber criminals prompting the creation of another page.
A statement released by Acting Press Secretary Puok Both Baluang said the page named ‘First Vice President Office’s Press Unit – Republic of South Sudan’ with around 100,000 followers experienced “technical difficulties”.
“We would like to inform you that we have recently encountered technical difficulties….due to these challenges we are unable to provide you with the latest update and information through this platform,” Baluang said.
Machar’s spokesperson said this has left them with no choice but to create another page named ‘Office of the First Vice President – Republic of South Sudan.’
“We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused to the media houses as well as the larger public who rely on our official Facebook page for updates.”
It is not clear exactly when the government official’s page was brought down.
Meta platform Facebook is popular in South Sudan as it is preferred by government institutions and agencies to disseminate information and communications.
However, many influential but unverified social media pages have increasingly become exposed to online hackers – setting an unprecedented trend of cyberattacks.
This situation has left celebrities, organizations and government institutions without thousands of their followers and damaged critical records.
Online security group Safety Comm South Sudan advises users to be cautious of messages that claim to be from social media platforms and ask for your login information.”
“Always check the sender’s email address and verify the request.”
Safety Comm also says people should be vigilant against suspicious links and messages shared through your inbox and on other sites including emails.
“Hackers try to trick you into clicking links or entering your login details in z fake login page.”
Other safety precautions are creating strong passwords for all your social media accounts and enabling two-factor authentication for extra security.
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