The Philippines has successfully thwarted thousands of “sophisticated” cyberattacks aimed at various government websites, including those of President Ferdinand Marcos and the Philippine Coast Guard. Undersecretary Jeffrey Ian Dy of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) disclosed this development during a congressional hearing, indicating that the attacks commenced last year. While investigations are ongoing to determine the exact origins of the attacks, Dy mentioned that the perpetrators utilized multiple internet protocol addresses from cnc.net, reportedly “located within China,” raising suspicions of Chinese involvement.
Dy emphasized the intricacy of the attacks, highlighting their attempts to embed malware into government websites, including the DICT’s site hosted on a Google cloud service. The attackers employed “brute force attacks” to obtain login information, credentials, and encryption keys, posing a significant cybersecurity threat. Despite the challenges posed by the sophisticated nature of the attacks, Dy reassured that the Philippines successfully defended against them, removing traces of malware and blocking the command and control structure to prevent further harm.
In response to these allegations, the Chinese embassy in Manila denied any involvement in the cyberattacks, affirming China’s stance against cybercrime and illegal activities conducted using its infrastructure. Similarly, China’s foreign ministry reiterated its commitment to cracking down on cyberattacks and promoting global cybersecurity cooperation. However, the Philippine authorities remain vigilant, seeking further collaboration with China to ascertain the true perpetrators and prevent future cyber threats.