PhilHealth warns vs posts portraying ‘ransomware’ attackers as heroes
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Monday warned the public against posts online portraying hackers as “heroes.”
This precaution comes after computer hackers attacked PhilHealth’s website and online application on September 22, taking down and blocking access to its systems.
This type of hacking is called a ‘ransomware’ attack.
The software prevents the user from being able to access his/her computer systems.
It demands a payment or ‘ransom’ before the user can have access to his/her computer systems again.
The trouble at PhilHealth was fixed a week later after the government-owned healthcare provider announced it had resumed its online services.
In a press conference, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ledesma, Jr. alerted the public against the attackers’ possible release of distorted information, fabrication of lies and black propaganda to malign government.
“Their intention is to portray themselves as heroes, which we must guard against,” Ledesma said.
He explained the hackers are also expected to share the information they may have obtained from the agency and disseminate these items on the web and social media.
He then advised the public against opening or sharing such information.
He said people should instead “promptly report sensitive information found online or on social media to PhilHealth and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to prevent further dissemination.”