House forms cybersecurity panel after attack on website
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has formed a cybersecurity panel to ensure the safety of its website and other online features, House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said.
Velasco said that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez himself signed the memorandum order, which named the following House officials as members:
- Secretary General Velasco (chairperson)
- Sergeant-at-Arms Napoleon Taas (vice chairperson)
- Deputy Secretary General Annalou Nachura (member)
- Deputy Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling (member)
- acting Deputy Secretary General Jennelyn Go-Sison (member)
“This committee, which was created by the Speaker, will review all our protocols, our internet activities para (so that) we’ll have a comprehensive solution to protect the integrity of our system,” Velasco said on Wednesday.
“Hindi lang kasi website yon eh (It’s not just about the website). We are talking about internal personal data ng mga employees, ng congressman, di ba (right)? Which cannot, which should not be accessed by just anybody, especially hackers,” he added.
Velasco said an investigation is still ongoing, but the cybersecurity committee was created after initial reports indicated that the defacing of the website was made internally. He, however, admitted that they are not yet sure about this angle.
Velasco added that the committee will meet next week.
Last October 15, the website of the House was defaced, showing a troll face on the section intended for photo journals. In a text under the photo journals section, the hackers who go by the name ~3MUSKETEERZ urged the legislative chamber to fix their website.
A day after, Velasco announced that the website has been restored, assuring the public that steps are being taken to ensure the security of the website.
However, on October 17, the House took the website down again after monitoring some suspicious and unusual activities.