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Hackers hit 3 DOST websites

MANILA, Philippines —  Local hackers yesterday attacked the domains and systems of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The cyber attack is being investigated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology, DICT Undersecretary for cyber security, connectivity and upskilling Jeffrey Ian Dy told The STAR.

“There are three websites affected (in the breach),” DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. told The STAR. He did not elaborate.

The DICT-National Security Operations Center had monitored the cyber attack around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, he added.

“We do confirm that our NSOC alarms saw the attack and we are already coordinating with DOST to bring their systems back up,” Dy said.

No ransomware was involved and ransom was not a motive for the hack, he noted.

Local hacking group Ph1ns has claimed responsibility for the cyber attack, Dy said.

“A local group has already claimed responsibility for it. They claim that they are doing it for activism. However, their brand of activism potentially harms the scholarly work of our local scientists by destroying their data,” Dy said.

“By publishing personally identifiable data, they are also allowing cyber criminals to exploit innocent people,” he lamented.

Dy said they have yet to confirm the hackers’ claim of deleting 25 terabytes of data.

Last year, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. experienced a cyber attack involving the Medusa ransomware. Cyber hackers demanded $300,000 from PhilHealth.

Cybercrimes in the Philippines decreased by nearly 41 percent last month, the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) reported yesterday.

In the last week of March, 225 cybercrimes were documented, which is 40.79 percent lower than the 380 cases documented in the previous week.

The top five prevalent offenses are online scams with 96 cases, followed by illegal access, 63; identity theft, 18; online libel, 15 and online threats, eight.

A combination of decreased online engagement during the Holy Week and people’s proactive response – fueled by increased awareness and strengthened security measures – have contributed to the decline in cybercrime cases, ACG director Maj. Gen. Sidney Hernia said.

Most Filipinos dedicated their time