SolGen confirms hacking of website, vows to go after hackers

MIke Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2020 10:54 AM

SolGen confirms hacking of website, vows to go after hackers 1
Solicitor General Jose Calida. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News


MANILA — The Office of the Solicitor General on Thursday confirmed the hacking of its website on Tuesday by a group of hackers who call themselves “Phantom Troupe.”

“In the early hours of December 1, 2020, an entity which identified itself as Phantom Troupe uploaded several files in the OSG online job application system (career.osg.gov.ph), in an attempt to deface the site,” the OSG said in a statement dated Wednesday.

“This unauthorized access resulted in the introduction of an altered screen displaying the message 'Stop blackmailing the NTC! Give ABS-CBN provisional authority!'” it added.

Solicitor General Jose Calida, in an April 30 letter to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), pressured the agency to issue a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN’s free TV and radio broadcast services, instead of granting the network provisional authority to continue operating as it earlier said.

Calida warned NTC commissioners they could face prosecution for graft if they issue the provisional authority, contradicting the views expressed by the Department of Justice, the Senate and the House franchise committee.

The NTC eventually issued a cease and desist order that led to the network’s shutdown on May 5.

The House franchise committee voted in July to reject ABS-CBN’s franchise application.

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The defacing of the OSG’s website comes almost 7 months after the ABS-CBN shutdown in May.

In its statement, the OSG said it has augmented security measures and is taking the hacking incident seriously, seeking the help of intelligence and investigation agencies of the government to identify people behind the hacking.

“This attack against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems of the OSG is a criminal offense under the Cybercrime Law. Any person found guilty shall be punished with up to 12 years imprisonment or a fine of up to a maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or both,” it said.

“The OSG will see to it that the individual and institutions behind this act will be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” it added.

The OSG however could not confirm earlier reports that about 9,000 files containing personal information were downloaded by the hackers.

The group Phantom Troupe was also behind other hacking incidents involving the government website www.gov.ph and the servers of Philippine colleges and universities and the Philippine Basketball Association earlier this year.