'Bloody Monday': Hackers strike gov't websites anew

·Kim Arveen Patria

Hackers hit at least three more government websites early Monday as protests mount against the Cybercrime Prevention Act which is set to take effect Oct. 3.

The online portals of the National Telecommunications Commission, the Philippine Information Agency and the Food Development Center were defaced by hackers claiming to be members of the group "Anonymous Philippines."

The same group claimed responsibility in a spate of attacks Thursday that hit at least six websites, including those of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

The hackers, which used the name "PrivateX", replaced the front pages of the website with pink background that claim the websites to be "seized."

A white-on-black message meanwhile read: "This domain name associated with GOV.PH has been seized pursuant to an order issued by Anonymous Philippines."

"A federal grand jury has indicated several individuals and entities allegedly involved in the operation of this website/department/ office charging them with the following federal crimes: conspiracy, violations of human rights, corruption, copyright infringement, money laundering, piracy, misuse of devices, libel, plagiarism, and destruction of freedom of speech," the message read further.

Twitter users also floated the possibility that the attacks will continue throughout the day in an online "hacktivist" movement dubbed "Bloody Monday."

"Nagsimula na ang Anonymous Philippines! (Anonymous Philippines has started!) Turning government sites down. The battle is on! #BloodyMonday," Twitter user Savipra Gorospe said.

Others, however, worried that the online protests would only push the government to tighten regulations for the Internet.

"IMHO (in my humble opinion), these #BloodyMonday hacks just give the government more justification on #CybercrimeLaw The sentiment doesn't justify the means," Twitter user EJ Mangahas said.

In a press briefing last week, Palace urged hackers to channel protests through other means instead of crippling government websites.

"I think the better venue for them is to really show their protests in a proper forum rather than hacking government websites," reports quoted Palace Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda as saying.

"It won’t win them brownie points if that's what they are doing," he added.

Five petitions against the Cybercrime Prevention Act have so far been lodged with the Supreme Court.

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