NBI confirms cyberattack on national government portal
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday confirmed a cyberattack on the national government’s main website but could not yet identify who was behind the attack.
NBI Cyber Crime Division chief Victor Lorenzo said there was a “denial of service attack” on the www.gov.ph, which made it unavailable to users.
The NBI is requesting the necessary information and details from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) so it could begin its investigation.
“We are confident that we can track down the hackers responsible for the attack kasi may mga previous incident na,” Lorenzo said in a Palace briefing.
A group called “Cyber PH for Human Rights” has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack, indicating that it was political in nature to protest the killings of nine Calabarzon activists and other alleged human rights violations.
It said it aimed to “send a message to President [Rodrigo] Duterte and his government, to stop the killing of unarmed civilians.”
“We come before the public today to stand in solidarity against the worsening human rights situation in the country, and to call for justice for the massacre of nine activists, and for countless more unarmed civilians who had lost their lives under this regime,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday.
It said it plans to make another round of attacks on other government websites and even the pages of non-state agents who spread fake news.
The cyber attack was launched days after nine activists in Calabarzon were killed during a series of police and military raids on Sunday, following Duterte’s order to the police and military to kill armed communist rebels and ignore human rights.
While the NBI has yet to determine whether the group were indeed the attackers, Lorenzo said it is confident it could identify the people behind the attacks.
The NBI also is yet to validate whether there was “exfiltration” of government databases, since hackers could easily claim such for “bragging purposes or simple, plain activism.”
“We should not take that hook, line and sinker. We have to validate that,” Lorenzo said.
He added that the NBI is monitoring groups that might have been behind cyber attacks last year.
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