MANILA, Philippines – Few hours before the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act takes effect, a spokesman from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was proudly showcasing before national TV the agency's supposedly hack-proof web infrastructure. At past midnight within the first hour that the cyber law takes effect, the NBI website was down as the group Anonnymous acknowledged responsibility in crippling other websites of the Philippine government.
Attacks on key government websites marked the first hours of the full implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act as a global alliance of hacktivists launched Operation Philippines (#opPhilippines) on Wednesday.
Hacking group Anonymous Philippines, which attacked over a dozen government websites in the past weeks, led the operation to cripple state-owned Internet properties in protest against the new law.
Anonymous Philippines and foreign members forming the hacking community People’s Liberation Front (PLF) hit the websites of The Official Gazette, the House of Representatives, National Bureau of Investigation, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Senate which they successfully crippled one by one starting at 1:44 a.m. on Wednesday.
“We demand for a revision of the said bill for the betterment of the Filipino citizens. Until this demand is met, you can expect to face massive protests on the ground - and continued cyber-attacks on all of your web assets,” the group said in a statement.
Anonymous also put up web-based software which Internet users can visit to blast error specifically attacks on President Benigno Aquino III’s website of (president.gov.ph), which was brought down at 7:53 a.m.
The public hacking software aimed to send the message “F*** The Cyber Crime Law” and could accommodate 5,000 requests per second.
PLF, describing itself as a “transnational global cyber insurgency” on its Twitter account, said it will also attack 20 key websites under their Operation Philippines on Wednesday, including the website of Senator Vicente Sotto III, who made the last-minute inclusion of the provision on online libel into the anti-cybercrime bill before it was signed into law last September 12.
Targeted websites include the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Finance's Bureau of Customs, National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Health and its Anti-Smoking site, Maritime Industry Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Information Agency, Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team, Metro Manila Development Authority, private energy company Meralco and the Department of Justice, in charge of the cybercrime act's implementation.
Another allied hacking group PrimeX also defaced the Philippine National Police (PNP) website on Tuesday. As of posting time, PNP has not yet successfully restored their website. (From Philstar.com)