Palace denies President's website was hacked

Posted at 10/04/12 11:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A Palace spokesman denied Thursday that President Benigno Aquino III’s official website (www.president.gov.ph) was shut down by hacktivists on Wednesday.

In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma said the President’s website was inaccessible for 5 hours in the morning of October 3, Wednesday, due to scheduled systems maintenance.

“During this period, Facebook fans and Twitter followers of the President were duly re-directed and were able to use these social media channels without any interruption,” Coloma said.

He also denied that the website of the Philippine Information Agency (pia.gov.ph) was defaced or hacked since last week

“There was no actual defacement of the PIA website and at no time was there a service disruption. In the morning of 2 October, a hacker apparently got into the personal email account of one of the online editors and inserted a link that appeared in one of the posted stories,” he said.

He said the specific irregularity was addressed immediately. He added the PCOO continues to adopt appropriate security measures to ensure the integrity of government websites.

Various government websites have been under attack after so-called hacktivists protested the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who was given broad powers under the Anti-Cybercrime Law, gave the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) a standing order to run after groups or persons responsible for the defacing of government websites right smack on the day the controversial law became effective.

"They will trace who the hackers are and apprehend them. For this purpose, they need to coordinate with the intel units of other investigative bodies," she told reporters.