Hacking is old news. So old, that it is believed that hacking has been around pretty much since the development of the first electronic computers(1). Anyone with security vulnerabilities can be a target. No one is safe. Not even government websites. Last year isolated attacks were experienced in different government agencies particularly: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); TESDA; GSIS; National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC); and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) .
And you think they have learned their lesson? Well, not really.
Just recently, the latest Government web sites to join the ranks are:
What is alarming about the recent attacks is that there is one group who call themselves Philker Hackers, responsible for the attacks on the PNRI, FDA and OVP websites.
|Photo Credit: http://www.techalang.com/|
Philker Hackers, who are "proudly Filipino" claim that they are "white hats":
“WE ARE NOT TRYING TO DAMAGE YOU. WE ONLY WANT TO HELP PROTECT OUR COUNTRY’S CYBERSPACE BY DOING WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO GET EVERYONE’S ATTENTION. MAY THIS DEFACE SERVE AS A REMINDER THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO LOOK OUT FOR INTRUDERS. NO MATTER HOW INTELLIGENT AND COMPETENT YOUR COMPUTER PERSONNEL ARE, THERE WILL BE UNETHICAL HACKERS THAT ARE CONSTANTLY WORKING ON BREAKING IN YOUR SECURITY, WHETHER IT’S YOUR MONEY OR INFORMATION THEY ARE AFTER; IN THIS CASE, YOU ARE FORTUNATE THAT IT WAS US WHO HAS SUCCESSFULLY BROKEN IN. YOU ALSO HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT BOTH THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS ARE AT RISK HERE, THIEVES AND TERRORIST ARE ALL LURKING ONLINE POSSESSING THE SKILLS TO TAKE DOWN MULTIPLE NETWORKS AND ASSUME ACCESSIBILITY OVER ACCOUNTS, WATCHING OUT FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE TARGETS; TRUST US, WE’RE CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH, THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT WE HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS. THEY DERIVE THEIR ENERGY FROM GREED. WE DERIVE OURS FROM OUR THIRST TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY’S CYBERSPACE SAFE. EXPECT MORE FROM US. WE ARE PHILKER.”
Philker Hackers allege that they are merely "protecting our country's cyberspace" yet under the Computer Misuse Act of 1990 in the United Kingdom, "unauthorized access even to expose vulnerabilities for the benefit of many is not legal." As Struan Robertson puts it, "There’s no defense in our hacking laws that your behavior is for the greater good. Even if it’s what you believe." (2)
Unfortunately, the current state of Philippine legislation does not offer the same protection.
Although hacking is nothing but universal occurrence nowadays, the recent events only demonstrates the quality of internet security we have in this country. It only shows how weak the Government's defenses are in terms of protecting themselves from online threats. The hacking incidents call not only for a major upgrade in the government measures regarding online data security but also a reflection on the country's current internet or cyber policies and ethics.
(1) Timeline: A 40-year history of hacking
(2) License to hack? - Ethical hacking
(3) Photo Credit: http://www.techalang.com/
(4) On the various articles related to the different attacks: