PNA encountered ‘cyberattack,’ says Andanar
The state-run news site Philippine News Agency (PNA) had encountered a cyberattack, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Monday.
The PNA on Friday found itself in another blunder as screenshots of several stories with an editor’s note as their lengthy titles quickly went viral on social media.
“Ganito ‘no. Friday, merong—nagkaroon kami ng cyberattack noong Friday,” Andanar said in an interview over radio dzRH.
(Last Friday, there was–we encountered a cyberattack last Friday.)
“Nitong Friday na nakita nung sa IP namin na merong isang IP address na pilit pinapasok iyong lumang dashboard. Kasi may lumang website ‘di ba? Iyong lumang dashboard pilit pinapasok nung IP address na ito,” he added.
(On Friday, we saw that there was another IP address that was trying to enter the old dashboard. There’s an old website, right? The IP address was trying to get into the old dashboard.)
Andanar said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime Division would investigate the said incident.
“So what is the reason for you, para sa isang tao na pasukin iyong lumang dashboard na hindi na ginagamit, bakit alam niya iyon. Kasi sa lumang dashboard makikita mo iyong mga palpak noong Philippine News Agency, puwede mong i-trace iyon ‘di ba,” he said. “So ngayon pinapaimbestigahan ngayon sa National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division.”
(So what is the reason for a person to enter the old dashboard that isn’t being used, why did that person know about that. Because on the old dashboard, you can see the blunders of the PNA, you can trace those, right? So now were having it investigated by the NBI Cybercrime Division.)
He said the old PNA dashboard was deactivated about four months ago.
“So noong April, that was the time na na-activate iyong bagong website. So mga four months ago na. Now, bakit mo bubuksan, ‘di ba? Bakit mo bubuksan iyong luma? So meron kang intensyon na hindi maganda,” he said.
(Back in April, that was the time when the new website was activated. So that was 4 months ago. Now, why are you trying to open the old one? So there is a bad intention here.)
Asked if it was an inside job, Andanar refused to make a conclusion, saying they were also looking into the possibility that it was made by a hacker.
“Hindi natin masasabi natin na taga-loob, pero mayroong IP address na ine-imbestigahan ngayon, pinaimbestigahan ni Usec. Joel Egco,” he said.
(We can’t say if it’s an inside kob, but there is an IP address that Usec. Egco is having investigated.)
Egco was assigned on Friday to oversee the PNA.
Amid the latest blunders of PNA, Andanar said there was really a “deliberate” effort to embarrass the news site.
“So ibig sabihin meron ka talagang intensyon na pahiyain iyong PNA,” he said.
(This means you have an intention to embarrass PNA.)
The Palace official said he was the target of these latest blunders were meant to discredit him.
“Sino ba iyong ibang gustong gibain dito kung hindi ako, eventually the President, hindi ba. Siyempre under ng PCOO itong PNA so ang dami nating ginagawang reporma, tapos gustong pilit gibain iyong PNA. So, meron talagang gustong gibain ako,” he said.
(Who else would they want to destroy besides me, eventually the President? The PCOO is under PNA and we are trying to make a lot of reforms, but they are striving to destroy PNA. Someone really wants to destroy me.)
He believed the PNA was being “sabotaged” amid the reforms he has been doing for the agency.
“But, ako naman, kami buong team ay we just move forward, pero itong mga nangyayaring sabotahe ay pinaiimbestigahan natin. Kasi hindi naman tayo papayag na tayo lang ang parating at the receiving end, tapos ginaganito lang tayo,” he said.
(But, for me and the whole team, we just move forward, but we will have this sabotage investigated. We won’t allow ourselves to be always at the receiving end, and they’re just doing things like this to us.)
The surfacing of articles with an editor’s note as a headline was not the first time the PNA was called out for its mistakes.
The agency had earlier uploaded Chinese news agency Xinhua’s editorial piece criticizing the Permanent Court Arbitration ruling on the West Philippine Sea.
In May, PNA was called out for “uploading fake news” about the United Nations member-state supposedly commending the Philippines’ human rights situation.
Few days later, it was again criticized for using a photo of a Vietnamese soldier during the Vietnam War to depict “urban warfare” in conflict-torn Marawi City. je