Cyber attack hits Gordon’s official website, goes down for hours
MANILA, Philippines — Amid the ongoing Senate blue ribbon probe into the alleged irregularities in the government’s procurement of pandemic response supplies, the official website of Senator Richard Gordon was hit by a “coordinated online attack” causing the site to shut down for several hours, the senator’s office said.
In a statement on Wednesday, Gordon’s office said the attack happened last October 4.
“We view such service outage or disruption as a serious concern as its timing comes when the Senate Blue Ribbon panel is investigating alleged irregularities in government procurement for COVID-19 supplies and equipment,” said Myke Cruz, an information technology officer in Gordon’s office.
According to Cruz, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, usually “patched through the dark web by nefarious individuals in exchange for a high price,” caused a web services shutdown from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Administrators of dickgordon.ph were able to contain the problem by barring entry of traffic from outside the Philippines at around 1 p.m., Gordon’s office said.
However, a foreign-led attack “persisted” until 3:04 p.m.
“Past instances have linked DDoS attacks to destabilizing the online presence of an opposing party,” Gordon’s office added.
His office said traffic requests to Gordon’s website primarily came from China, the United States, Ukraine, and other Southeast Asian countries, causing the “usual bandwidth traffic to rise dramatically from less than 100 megabytes to almost 1.8 gigabytes within an hour’s span.”
“Ang nangyari, pwede mo ihalintulad sa sari-sari store, na usually may regular na bilang ng customer na bumibili sa loob ng isang minuto. Ngayon, biglang dinumog ng lahat ng residente ng Metro Manila ang sari-sari store para bumili, kaya di lahat matutugunan on time,” Cruz said.
(What happened can be likened to a neighborhood store where there is a regular number of customers. Now, the store was mobbed by all the residents of Metro Manila, that’s why their purchases can’t be addressed on time.)
Gordon’s office explained that the “botnet owner” or the originator of the attack “usually develops a malicious software or malware distributed through email or website attachments.”
“Owners of these infected computers unknowingly host this malware, which the attacker adds to the botnet to simultaneously make requests on a specific website or cloud service,” it added.
The Senate blue ribbon committee, which Gordon chairs, is in the middle of an investigation into the government’s pandemic purchases last year.
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