Hackers attack COVID vaccination website as thousands jam single jab site — Manila mayor
MANILA, Philippines — Before the “chaotic situation” at a mall in Manila caused by thousands who wanted to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the city’s vaccination website was attacked by hackers 133 times, Mayor Isko Moreno said Friday.
“Maybe it’s [a coincidence] because the night before the chaotic situation in SM San Lazaro…our website was attacked 133 times by hackers but fortunately, with the help of some technological protection in protecting the data ng taumbayan [of the people], they (hackers) failed,” Moreno said in an interview on ANC.
Moreno also said busloads of people from outside the city, who were headed to one vaccination site, arrived in Manila early Thursday.
“Ala-una, alas-dos ng madaling araw may dumating ditong mga bus, bus, van, mga sasakyan na punong-puno ng tao, particular lamang sa isang site, coming outside from Manila,” he said.
(At 1 or 2 in the morning, buses and vans packed with passengers heading to only one site, arrived from outside Manila.)
He noted that Manila’s inoculation drive is an “open vaccination policy” which is open to even non-resident vaccine recipients.
“The logic behind is to really protect human beings, immaterial where they live. As long as they are walking around, we need to protect them. By doing so, we are already protecting ourselves,” he said.
“So I think yung approach ng Maynila [Manila’s approach], there is a weakness to it and it’s being utilized also by some individuals,” he added, but did not elaborate.
Panic, fake news
Metro Manila residents flocked to vaccination sites on Thursday ahead of the reimposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the region.
An estimated 19,000 individuals trooped to vaccination sites in the City of Manila, including the one in SM San Lazaro.
Those who gathered at the vaccination sites said they received information that unvaccinated individuals would not be able to leave their residence during the ECQ period inMetro Manila.
It was President Rodrigo Duterte, in a speech last week, who said he would ask the police to escort unvaccinated people back to their homes.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, however, denied it was Duterte’s pronouncement that led to the crowding of the vaccination sites, saying “fake news” is to blame.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.