'Troll farms' attacked Manila's vaccination registration website: Isko Moreno

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2021 08:06 PM

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso attends an event in Manila on July 3, 2019.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso attends an event in Manila on July 3, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday said the city's vaccination registration site was targeted by troll farms a day before chaos ensued in the capital city's inoculation hubs.

The registration site recorded "1.02 million requests" or 133 to 200 request per minute, Domagoso said in a Facebook live video, citing a report collated by the capital city's tech team.

"This is a very unusual scenario/occurrence... It's clearly BOT-triggered," the report read.

"Based on our experience, we highly suspect that whoever is doing this has a troll farm generating machinery," it said.

The requests were traced to 5 IP addresses.

"This individual/s created an automation on their end to loop/spam or to keep refreshing the registration site," according to the report.

"The objective is very obvious: To have the website reach its threshold in order to create downtime error 502," it said.

The Manila mayor said the city is in the process of tracing and investigating the individuals involved in the incident.

"Basta may idea tayo [kung sino] pero mahirap magduda o magturo-turo. Kapag nagsalita na tayo, sigurado na tayo doon," he said.

(We have an idea on who is behind this but it is hard to guess or point fingers. When we speak, we will be sure about it.)

"For the meantime, ang tantiya ko, kinakabahan na 'yung mga 'yun," he said.

(For the meantime, I think, those involved are already nervous about this.)

Domagoso warned those involved in the incident, saying lives may be at stake.

"Isipin ninyo din kayo may nanay, may tatay, may anak na puwede din magka-COVID. Pag-isipan ninyo maigi sino man gumagawa niyan," he said.

(Bear in mind that you also have mothers, fathers, children who may also be infected with COVID. Whoever did this should think thoroughly about this.)

"Hindi po kayo yayaman diyan. Wala pong pera diyan unless bayad kayo para gawin 'yan," he said.

(You will not be rich because of this. You can't get money out of this unless someone is paying you to do it.)

The Manila mayor, who is rumored to be running for the presidency in the 2022 national elections, earlier said that the hacking attempt may be part of an orchestrated effort against his administration.

A day after the website attack, thousands trooped to a Manila vaccination site after talk that unvaccinated individuals might be arrested while the capital region is under a 2-week lockdown.


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