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Media groups sue two firms for making their news sites inaccessible

Four media groups on Friday filed a civil suit against two  companies for allegedly launching cyber attacks against their respective websites over the past few months.

In a civil complaint filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Alipato Media Center, Inc., the publisher of; Altermidya, Kodao Productions, and Pinoy Media Center Inc., the publisher of Pinoy Weekly, sought damages from IP Converge Data Services, Inc. and Suniway Group of Companies, Inc.

The media groups said Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which flood a target network with traffic to make it inaccessible, shut down their websites at different times between December and February.

Bulatlat, Altermidya, and Pinoy Weekly added that their websites went down after they posted stories about the 50th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines last December.

They claimed that an investigation by Qurium Media Foundation, a Sweden-based non-profit that provides security hosting for independent media, traced the source of the attacks to IP Converge and Suniway.

"Further analysis of the attackers' digital footprints showed that they actually come from the same server, which is operated by Defendant Suniway," the civil case stated.

The media groups sought more than P293,000 in actual damages and P200,000 in attorney's fees from the two companies.

"The cyber-attacks are a clear abuse of right, which entitles Plaintiffs to be indemnified for the damage suffered by Plaintiffs pursuant to Article 20 of the Civil Code," they said.

"The cyber-attacks could not have occurred without being orchestrated and well-funded," they added.

GMA News Online is seeking comment from IP Converge and Suniway. —NB, GMA News