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Jakarta Post

Epidemiologist Pandu Riono's Twitter account hacked

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 20, 2020   /   08:22 pm
Epidemiologist Pandu Riono's Twitter account hacked The Twitter account of Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia (UI), was hijacked on Wednesday evening by unidentified hackers who posted several tweets. (Shutterstock/TY Lim)

The Twitter account of Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia (UI), was hijacked on Wednesday evening by unidentified hackers who posted several tweets.

The handle, @drpriono, posted a picture of Pandu and a woman at 9:59 p.m., with that caption read: “After [spending a] holiday with [my] young mistress.”

Five minutes later, the account posted another picture showing Pandu with the same woman accompanied by the caption: “My romantic night with her who will be my mistress.”

The tweets were deleted on Thursday morning.

Pandu confirmed to tempo.co on Thursday that his Twitter account had been hacked. The motive behind the breach is still unclear.

Read also: Jokowi administration spends Rp 90.4 billion on 'influencers': ICW

Pandu is known for being a vocal critic of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the hacking, he criticized the potential COVID-19 remedies developed by Airlangga University in cooperation with the Indonesian Army and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).

The university’s rector Muhammad Nasih touted the supposed remedies as the first COVID-19 cure in the world. He said three combinations of medications – lopinavir/ritonavir and azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir and doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin – had already undergone clinical trials.

Pandu said the medications had not be registered for clinical trials under the World Health Organizations (WHO), which has cautioned against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering unproven treatments to COVID-19 patients.

The UI epidemiologist added that the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) had the right to decline authorization for the use of the medications.

“There should be clinical trials [to check] whether all processes have followed correct procedures,” Pandu said on Monday, as quoted by tempo.co.

Read also: Government critic faces incitement charges after WhatsApp hacked

The BPOM said on Wednesday that additional trials needed to be conducted as it had found several critical findings that affected the tests’ validity.

He also slammed the university for not reporting the research findings to the BPOM, but rather handing over the process to the BIN and the Army.

Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) chairwoman Asfinawati condemned the hacking and called on authorities to investigate the matter. “There should be an investigation into the case because it often happens to those who are critical against the government.” (trn)