PH gov't websites urged to beef up security

Posted at 04/26/2012 7:18 PM | Updated as of 04/26/2012 7:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Thursday urged other government agencies to beef up their security amid ongoing attacks on Philippine websites by alleged Chinese hackers.

Abad issued the warning following the defacement and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on the DBM website Wednesday.

In a press statement, Abad said the DBM's official website, www.dbm.gov.ph, is currently undergoing a security audit and "may be inaccessible until critical issues are resolved."

He said the attack did not affect important data on the website.

"We are taking additional measures to reinforce the security of our servers and prevent future attacks," he added.

Abad said at around 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the DBM website was once again subject to attack, resulting in a denial-of-service error that prevented users from accessing the site.

"Unidentified parties defaced the website earlier in the same day at around 2:00 p.m., rendering the website temporarily unavailable," he added.

Chinese hackers earlier revealed plans to attack more Philippine government websites, according to their discussions on the Internet.

An online forum of Chinese hackers belonging to the "Silic Group" tagged the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) and Bulacan provincial government websites that are next in their firing line.

One forum user even posted usernames and passwords of Bulacan provincial government website administrators.

On Wednesday night, a purported hacker from China claiming to be a member of the "Honker Union" also published on Facebook the alleged usernames and passwords of administrators of websites belonging to Radio Mindanao Network (http://www.rmn.ph), the University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters (http://kal.upd.edu.ph), and the People Management Association of the Philippines (http://www.pmap.org.ph).

An administrator of the Chinese hackers' forum at bbs.blackbap.org also boasted about "first-hand" details about the attack that crippled the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) website on Wednesday afternoon.

The message indicated that those who defaced the DBM website are the same ones who attacked the Vietnamese government's website, gov.vn.

The hackers allegedly discussed their attack on the DBM website in a chat hub for several minutes.

Details about the DBM server webshell address, administrator and publisher accounts were posted online.

"How Come a Small Bitch Border Country are (sic) Overconfident? And Challenged (sic) to Our Chinese Super Hacker (sic)?" the hackers posted on the DBM website in mangled English.

Some of the threads on the "Silic Group" hackers' forum directly referred to the dispute between China and the Philippines over Scarborough shoal. They indicated that their attacks are linked to the issue.

One forum member referred to the Scarborough standoff as "Huangyan Island incident."

He said Chinese hackers should "punish the Philippines" and target Philippine websites, "especially its portal."