The government has confirmed that investigations are underway in relation to the hacking of Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s official website, a vital local source of information amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Maldives Police Service also revealed Sunday evening that the authority is presently investigating the incident. However, no further details were divulged, including that of the video's authenticity and links to other organisations.
In a tweet published by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal, he condemned the cyber-crime, calling the hacking attempt “uncivilised” and “cowardly”.
The minister further pledged to work in collaboration with authorities to ensure the scrutiny is thorough, adding that efforts to probe were already in process.
On Sunday, hackers claiming to be associated with hacktivist collective Anonymous momentarily overtook the HPA website, and left a cryptic message for the incumbent.
A video clip left on the website, which remains viewable on YouTube, accused the administration of being “taken charge” by the government of India, and therefore not being “free to make decisions based on what is right for its people”.
In the video, a masked individual is seen speaking in English, criticising precautionary measures implemented to contain COVID-19 and issuing a threat to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih himself, warning that the hackers would “attack your networks, intrude your privacy, leak your confidential documents. These attacks will continue as long as we see no change to your plans”.
Since the hacking incident took place, the HPA website is offline, although COVID-19 updates are still available via this link : https://covid19.health.gov.mv/