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PHL-Taiwan Row

2 more Taiwanese sites attacked in cyberwar tit-for-tat

May 12, 2013 10:54pm

At least two more Taiwanese websites were rendered inaccessible Sunday evening, amid a cyberwar with the Philippines stemming from the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the latter's coast guard last May 9.

Not accessible as of 9 p.m. Sunday were the sites of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and Taiwan's Central News Agency.

Meanwhile, the Philippine counterpart of the TECO, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, was still online as of Sunday evening.

The cyberattacks came hours after Anonymous #Philippine Cyber Army hinted at a retaliatory attack against those it claimed were attacking the Commission on Elections website.

Comelec's website, which contains a tool to help voters find their precincts online, also remained inaccessible as of 9 p.m. Sunday.

'Traced to the Philippines'

Earlier, the CNA quoted Taiwan's government as saying it traced attacks on the websites of Taiwan's presidential office and other key government agencies to the Philippines.

Presidential Office spokesperson Garfie Li said the Presidential Office website broke down at 9:17 a.m. but was up again after 10 a.m.

Li said a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, where simultaneous requests for data from several sources threatened to overload the website, was traced to the Philippines.

The attacks came days after an encounter between a PCG patrol vessel and a Taiwanese fishing boat. The Coast Guard claimed that they were forced to open fire as the Taiwanese boat appeared to be intent on ramming them.

Other attacks

Also, CNA reported that the Cabinet had detected other "attacks from the Philippines." The sites attacked were the:

- Ministry of National Defense
- Ministry of Economic Affairs
- Coast Guard Administration.

Taiwan Cabinet spokesperson Cheng Li-wun said a Cabinet unit detected signs of the attacks as early as Friday evening. The unit confirmed on Saturday that the source was in the Philippines.

Also, Cheng said local government websites in Taipei and Tainan, and those of certain private enterprises were also targeted.

Meanwhile, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry reported slow access to its official website Sunday after it was flooded with information from an unknown source.

But military spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he said the ministry's internal network was not affected, and it has activated security measures and stepped up monitoring of the site.

On Saturday, several Philippine websites were inaccessible, prompting a Philippine-based hacktivist group to declare that they would retaliate. — DVM, GMA News
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