Probe sought on cyberattacks on news websites

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2022 04:43 PM

MANILA—The Bayan Muna party-list wants the House of Representatives to investigate the reported rampant cyberattacks against media outlets like ABS-CBN, Rappler and CNN Philippines.

This comes after the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines urged the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the recent cyberattacks against the news websites.

“According to a Manila Bulletin report, a certain Pinoy Vendetta claimed responsibility for the series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyberattacks that disrupted the CNN Philippines and other news sites," the House Resolution 2493 read.

"The hacker group sent a YouTube video. In it, we see what looks like a botnet launched against CNN Philippines website. The group ran 1000 threads using 34,291 'BOTS'." A bot is a compromised server/resource.

In the resolution filed Feb. 17, the lawmakers said that DDoS attacks on alternative media websites such as Bulatlat, Altermidya and Karapatan had been linked to the Philippine Army, allegedly using the infrastructure of the Department of Science and Technology.

This is based on a forensic investigation by Sweden-based Qurium Media Foundation, they said. The DOST has denied involvement in the cyberattacks through an official statement issued June 24, 2021.

“The DICT and the NBI should investigate the rampant cyberattacks against media websites, especially in this period when the country is facing a very crucial election, in which the public needs credible sources of accurate information," the resolution read.

"Amid the widespread misinformation and proliferation of fake news, the government should identify and stop the perpetrators of these cybercriminal acts and hold them accountable for these undemocratic acts that are probably aimed not only to interfere and disrupt the operations of the affected media entities but also at influencing the outcome of the May 9, 2022 elections."

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