RIYADH: A Twitter hacker caused chaos online after gaining access to the personal Twitter account of Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Issa, education minister.
The account was compromised for several hours, possibly from late hours of Monday, during which a large number of tweets related to the functioning and the services of the ministry of education were sent.
Al-Issa, who was appointed as education minister on Dec. 12 last year, has continued to make use of social media networks, including Twitter, to communicate with the media and issue public statements from time to time. He has had over 292,000 followers on his Twitter handle.
The hacker with hashtag @cyber_emotion tweeted a number of questions related to transportation, educational affiliations, enrolment of students, rented school buildings, and appointments. The hacker or the group, which calls them as “the voice of citizens” also posted a link of a TV interview of the minister.
A media spokesman of the ministry of education confirmed the incident of hacking.
The minister also issued a statement reserving his right to sue the hackers, who accessed his Twitter account, according to a report published in Sabq.
“But, the hacking of the minister’s account @aleissaahmed has prompted calls about the safety of the mirco blogging sites,” said Hamdan A. Al-Areify, a Saudi IT wizard.
“More measures should be taken by government agencies to discourage and punish non-ethical hackers,” said Saquib Manzar, an IT engineer, while recalling the hacking of the Twitter accounts of several high-profile individuals and organizations of the Kingdom including the Saudi Aramco.
He said that Twitter is highly popular with Saudis and it is being used for broad debates on subjects ranging from society, lifestyle, religion to politics and sports.
Today, Saudi Arabia ranks seventh globally in terms of individual accounts on social media, while the number of tweets on Twitter exceeds 500,000, said a report published recently.
Around 80 percent of Twitter users post tweets on their mobile phones and 90 percent watch videos on their mobile phones in the Kingdom.

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