• Palace: Countermeasures in place

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    Malacañang has already taken measures to ensure all its websites would be safe from hackers following reports that Chinese hackers have allegedly been stealing information online.

    “There is sort of an ad hoc group out of the DOST-ICTO [Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office] and DOST-ASTI [Advanced Science and Technology Institute] to beef up cyber security when it comes to government websites,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told state-run dzRB radio on Saturday.

    Valte, however, said some government websites use private servers, which they contract from private entities.

    “What we have been doing is to make sure that all government websites are hosted by government servers, which are more secure than some of the privately hosted sites that we have seen,” she said.

    Valte said the government is making a “good headway” in making government websites hosted by government servers.

    “Hopefully, most agencies will be onboard with coming onto the government-hosted servers,” Valte said.

    The Manila Times on Saturday reported that a Chinese-speaking hacker group called Naikon had successfully infiltrated governments around the South China Sea region including the Philippines.

    Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based firm that operates in almost 200 countries, said the group has been targeting government websites and servers in the Philippines along with neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos, Nepal and even China.

    An infographic illustrating the extent of the cyber attack listed the Office of the President, the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, the National Security Council, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, the Office of the Solicitor General, the Department of Justice and the Civil Aviation Authority as among the “top level” agencies “affected by Naikon in country X.”

    While it did not specifically identify the Philippines, the names of the targets bore similarities to the names of the country’s national government agencies.

    “Analysis revealed that the cyber espionage campaign against country X had been going on for many years. Computers infected with the remote control modules provided attackers with access to employees’ corporate email and internal resources, and access to personal and corporate email content hosted on external services,” Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher of Kaspersky Lab, said in an article titled “The Naikon APT: Tracking Down Geo-Political Intelligence Across APAC, One Nation at a Time.”

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