The Facebook pages of Bayon and BTV television were hacked yesterday, allegedly by individuals based in the European Union, but control of the pages was regained after just a few hours with assistance from the Interior Ministry’s anti-cybercrime unit.
Bayon Television and BTV television station, using the Facebook name BTV Cambodia, were seen yesterday morning posting about the alleged love affairs of Hun Many. Both stations are under the Bayon Media Group.
Phan Rim, who is in charge of controlling the Facebook page of Bayon Television, said the hackers did not control the page for very long and were probably based in Europe.
“We can say we regained control of the two Facebook pages. We are working with the anti-cybercrime department of the Ministry of Interior,” he said.
“If we look at the IP address, the hackers are based in Bulgaria. However, we are still questioning if the IP address is fake or not.”
The incident follows hacks of the Facebook page of Fresh News as well as Mr Many under the Facebook name Hun Mani, who is the Prime Minister’s son as well as a CPP lawmaker for Kampong Speu province and the president of the Union Youth Federation of Cambodia.
In November, the Facebook pages of Fresh News and Fresh News TV were hacked by an unknown group who posted that Prime Minister Hun Sen had been murdered by one of his bodyguards.
Earlier this month, Mr Many’s Facebook pages were also hacked. He issued a statement calling on his supporters and Facebook users to be careful and to consider any posts from the accounts as fake news that had been created by the hackers.
Khmer Times’ Facebook page was also recently attacked by hackers, who posted similar allegations of Mr Many’s love affairs in English.
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications announced that its Facebook page was hacked by an anonymous group on Friday afternoon. A ministry official said it has yet to regain control of the account.
Ministry spokesman Khov Makara said the ministry had made a request to Facebook in an effort to reclaim it.
“We haven’t regained control, but this page is not a big deal as it is just a way to share information with our people. The ministry is not so much focused with the page, but we are afraid it might be used in a bad way,” he said.
“Right now, we are completing the formalities required by Facebook to claim the account back and it is taking administrative measures to verify that it is ours.”
Chea Pov, head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-cybercrime unit, said that most hackers were based in foreign countries but he did not provide examples.
“Most of the hackers are based abroad. I don’t dare to answer which country exactly because it is complicated and you need to have an in-depth understanding of technology for me to explain,” he said.
“We have now regained control of the Bayon and BTV pages. Normally they just take control of it for a short time. Hackers do their work mostly at night, so companies should have staff on standby at night as a precaution,” he added.
“During the night in our country it is daytime in their country and they start working when we are sleeping. We are now preparing to explain this to people so they understand.”
When asked what measures should be taken to deal with hacking, Mr Makara and Mr Pov said only that users themselves should be more careful.