Palace websites attacked by ‘Chinese networks'

Posted at 04/23/2012 6:23 PM | Updated as of 04/24/2012 10:09 AM

DFA condemns cyber attacks from both sides

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The dispute between China and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal continued to spill over into cyberspace with Philippine government websites being attacked by “Chinese networks" on Monday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said: “the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) noticed a significant spike in traffic with malicious URL requests from forged user-agents being channeled to the Official Gazette website (www.gov.ph), to the PCDSPO website (www.pcdspo.gov.ph), and to the Presidential Museum and Library website (www.malacanang.gov.ph), causing our servers to momentarily lag.”

The denial-of-service attack started at around 4:00 p.m. today.

Lacierda said: “Information gathered through our data analysis indicated that the attack originated from IP addresses assigned to Chinese networks.”

“The PCDSPO is endeavoring to maintain its websites. However, please note that we can expect temporary disruption of service while the attack is ongoing,” he added.

The three government websites are now up and running.

On Friday, alleged Chinese hackers attacked the website of the University of the Philippines System. Across the website showed the words: “We come from China! Huangyan Island is Ours!”

China calls Scarborough Shoal, Huangyan Island, while the Philippines calls it Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal.

Filipinos supposedly retaliated by defacing several Chinese websites.

The China University Media Union was vandalized with the words: “Chinese government is clearly retarded. Scarborough Shoal is ours!”

A Chinese government website was also hacked, http://gh.rc.gov.cn/, where these words were written: “You got f**ked by the Philippines! Spratly Island Is OURS!”

Other Chinese websites attacked were: http://www.lanseyinxiang.com/, v.cyol.com, http://sanxinsudi.com, ploft.cn and ryjzw.com.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez earlier Monday condemned the cyber attacks and called on hackers from both sides to stop the online war.

"We denounce such cyber attacks regardless from which side they are coming from," Hernandez said.

"We think they are counter productive and only add to the tension. We call on both Filipino and Chinese netizens to be more responsible and encourage dialogue rather than discord," he said. -- with an Agence France-Presse report