Alternative media site shuts down after cyberattack
MANILA, Philippines— Another alternative media site was forced to shut down briefly after a string of sustained cyberattacks over the weekend, making it the third to be targeted by such attacks in recent months.
In a statement, Pinoy Media Center, which publishes the progressive media outlet Pinoy Weekly, said it was subjected to an “intense” distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from still-unknown entities on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18.
DDoS attacks operate by overwhelming the target with malicious requests to disrupt normal traffic in the server, service or network.
The attacks, it said, followed shortly after Pinoy Weekly uploaded its in-depth stories for the week, including an editorial on the fight against the looming Duterte-Marcos alliance and a news analysis of the people’s agenda for the 2022 elections.
During one instance, at least 10 gigabytes of requests flooded the server, forcing the site to temporarily shut down and to reopen via another server.
“We fear it may again be subject to an attack in the next few hours or days,” Pinoy Media Center said.
State forces suspected
This is not the first time Pinoy Weekly was targeted by such attacks. In 2018 and 2019, it was also one of the three sites—including Bulatlat and Kodao—that was targeted by repeated DDoS attacks linked to Philippine IT firms.
This year, Bulatlat and Kodao again suffered cyberattacks traced to infrastructure owned by the Philippine Army. While the attacks against Pinoy Weekly have yet to be traced, the group strongly suspects it was the work of similar state forces or supporters.
The group vowed to continue its work and to remain unbowed by the cyberattacks.
“We condemn these attacks against alternative and independent media groups. We call on the public to join us in resisting attempts to muzzle our voices online, and make these attacks accountable to law and the people,” it said.
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