Cyber attack targets graft watchdog press conference on KPK staff sackings

Source – May 17, 2021
Activists cover KPK logo with black cloth to symbolise attempts to weaken the commission – Undated (CNN)

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) says that there were attempts to hack into a virtual press conference which they held today on Monday May 17.

During the conference, eight former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leaders were speeking in response to the sacking of 75 KPK employees who failed to pass a civics or nationalism test (TWK).

ICW researcher Wana Alamsyah said that press conference was held using Zoom (specifically for resource people and the panel) and broadcast on the Friends of ICW YouTube channel.

"During the press conference there were at least nine types of hacking attempts. First using the name of speakers to access Zoom. Second using the names of ICW staff to access Zoom", said Alamsyah in a press release received by

The third type, continued Alamsyah, was uploading pornographic photographs and videos onto the Zoom platform. Then the fourth, according to Alamsyah, was to shut off the speakers' microphones and video cameras.

"Fifth, highjacking [ICW activist] Nisa Rizkiah's online motorcycle taxi account dozens of times to disrupt his concentration as the event moderator", said Alamsyah.

And the hacking attempts did not stop there. Alamsyah related how the sixth method was to take control of the WhatsApp numbers of five ICW staff.

The seventh pattern was the ICW staff whose numbers were hacked received telephone calls from a United States number and Telkomsel provider numbers.

"Eighth, the hacker tried to take over the Telegram and email accounts of several ICW staff. But, the effort failed", said Alamsyah.

Finally, a hack to making a link shared by former KPK Chairperson Abraham Samad unable to be opened.

Alamsyah said that this is not the first time that there have been hacking attempts such as this.

"This is not the first time that hacking attempts have occurred against civil society activists. Before, during the controversy over the selection of the [new] KPK leadership, the revisions to the KPK Law in 2019, the Mineral and Coal Mining Law, the Jobs Creation Law, this also took place", he explained.

Alamsyah said that the hacking attempts were done by parties who do not agree with efforts to strengthen corruption eradication. The hacks, he added, are a new way of silencing critical voices in society.

"So we condemn all such actions and urge law enforcement officials to investigate and take action against parties that want to try to restrict citizen's critical voices", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ICW Sebut Ada Upaya Peretasan dalam Konferensi Pers soal Pegawai KPK yang Tak Lolos TWK".]