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DOST denies hand in cyberattack against alternative media
Artist's rendition of cyber security hack
Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay

DOST denies hand in cyberattack against alternative media

(Philstar.com) - June 24, 2021 - 2:32pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:23 p.m.) — The Department of Science and Technology denied Thursday that it was involved in the cyberattacks directed at alternative media outlets AlterMidya and Bulatlat, despite one attack being traced back to one of the agency’s machines.

“The implication of DOST’s involvement in said cyberattacks is unfounded and patently false,” it said in a statement. “This statement was solely based on the tracked IP address and does not translate to the department’s involvement in the matter.”

The DOST explained that they allow some of their IP addresses to be used by other government agencies.

In response, AlterMidya and Bulatlat said in a joint statement that DOST should probe the use of its IP address.

"We call on the agency to conduct its own investigation on the use of their IP, make its findings available to the public, and do its part in stopping the cyberattacks apparently perpetrated by the Philippine Army," the media organizations said.

Swedish digital forensic non-profit Qurium found links to two cyberattacks directed at AlterMidya and Bulatlat in May to the DOST and the military.

On May 18, it reported that a machine from the Department of Science and Technology ran a vulnerability scan against bulatlat.com. 

"The IP [address] seems to belong to the Philippine Research, Education, and Government Information Network," Qurium said.

It added that a closer look into the IP address and firewall also revealed an email address registered to the Philippine Army in Taguig.

AlterMidya and Bulatlat have both denounced the attacks, saying they deplore the use of people's money to supress their reporting. — Xave Gregorio with a report from Christian Deiparine

ALTERMIDYA BULATLAT CYBERATTACKS DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PRESS FREEDOM
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