68 gov’t websites attacked

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Several Philippine government websites have been subjected to various forms of cyberattacks following the release of the ruling on the arbitration case filed by the Philippines against China.

The STAR learned yesterday that at least 68 websites have been subjected to attacks, which included attempts of hacking and defacement, slowdowns and distributed denial of service attacks.

Among those at the receiving end were agencies such as the Department of National Defense, the Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, the Presidential Management Staff and the gov.ph domain registry website.

The website of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was also subjected to a supposed hacking, although authorities were able to immediately foil it.

The websites of these agencies were all accessible yesterday.

The source of the attacks has yet to be determined, although initial investigation supposedly pointed to an entity supposedly operating from the Netherlands.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that issued the ruling on the Philippine case is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

The Information and Communications Technology Office, the precursor of the newly created Department of Information and Communications Technology, has yet to respond to request for comment regarding the cyberattacks.

The Department of Science and Technology earlier provided additional protection to Philippine government websites amid repeated incidents of defacements and denial of service attacks.

PCA website hacking

Earlier, a cyber-security company reported that the PCA website was infected with a malware by “someone from China” in July 2015.

Citing information from ThreatConnect Inc., Bloomberg Business reported the attack happened in the midst of the week-long hearing on the jurisdiction of the arbitration case filed by Manila against Beijing over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Gaelle Chevalier, a case manager at the PCA, told Bloomberg that they “have no information about the cause of the problems.”

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