Rappler comes under cyberattack
News website Rappler, cofounded and led by Nobel laureate Maria Ressa, came under a heavy cyberattack on Wednesday, only days after the news website of the ABS-CBN network sustained a similar attempt to disrupt the normal surfer traffic by flooding it with traffic or internet requests.
The outlet said the distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack began at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and reached “over 6 billion in accumulated requests” apparently intended to prevent internet suffers from logging onto the site and bringing down Rappler’s website “a number of times” over the next few hours.
The attacks started when Rappler put up its story about the passage of a Senate bill allowing 100-percent foreign ownership of public services. Before long, the DDOS began to focus on Rappler’s homepage itself, the outlet said.
At its peak, the outlet said it was “barraged by over 650,000 requests per second.”
The attack came only days after the ABS-CBN news site was also subjected to a similar attack, which brought down its online news portal for six hours.
Rappler is the fifth news site to be targeted by such attacks, after progressive outlets Bulatlat, Altermidya and Pinoy Weekly. Rights group Karapatan was also hit by a similar attack.
Internet security investigators later traced the attack to computers used by the Philippine Army, but the military denied they were behind the cyberattack and their personnel were only surfing websites as part of routine monitoring.
The Department of Science and Technology said it would look into the nature of the attacks.
Cybersecurity experts said DDOS attacks can be conducted through multiple networks, called botnets, that are themselves anonymized by unlimited number of other networks in an unlimited number of locations.
Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said these cyberattacks “target press freedom and are intended to disable online media that are critical of the Duterte regime.”
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