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September 19, 2017

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Taiwanese hackers leak Philippine gov't website info

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese hackers yesterday revealed Philippine government security information, the latest salvo in a cyber battle that erupted after the shooting of a fisherman.

The release of Domain Name System (DNS) information on a website called Pastebin could affect over 2,300 Philippine government websites and that country's May 13 presidential election.

Both Taiwanese and Philippine hackers paralyzed the websites of both countries' presidents, as well as those of Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Coast Guard Administration on Sunday.

The Taiwanese hacker group, Anon TAIWAN, left a message along with the Philippine government's DNS information, stating that they it not stop until Manila apologizes for the killing of a Taiwanese sailor and arrests those responsible.

The director of the Executive Yuan's Information Security Office (ISO), Hsiao Hsiu-chin (蕭秀琴), said that Taiwanese hackers have completely taken over all the Philippine government's official websites, giving them the ability to invade or even paralyze the electoral system.

"It is a huge deal for the Philippine government website's DNS data to be compromised, because all the websites rely on the DNS for IP addresses and email accounts," said Hsiao.

"I assume all the Philippine government departments are not able to receive emails, and all the government websites cannot function, either."

According to the ISO, Taiwanese hackers who have the DNS information can change the IP addresses of all Philippine websites with ".gov.ph" at the end of their URL, as well as change website services and paralyze Philippine government websites.

Hsiao said that she is not glad to see the cyber battle between Taiwanese and Philippine hackers continue to escalate, because puts Taiwanese government's websites in jeopardy, even with the intensive cyber defense measures already in place.

According to Hsiao, Philippine hackers used Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks to paralyze the Taiwan presidential website on Sunday, which was restored after several hours and no information was taken.

"All the attacked Taiwanese websites, including the Ministry of National Defense and the Coast Guard Administration's websites, have been restored and the ISO has traced some hackers' IP addresses to the Philippines."

The cyber battle erupted after Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) was killed on May 9 when the boat he was aboard was fired on by a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel, sparking fury in Taiwan. Hackers launched a cyberattack on the Philippine presidential website the next day.

President Ma Ying-jeou has given the Philippines 72 hours ultimatum on May 11 to respond to demands regarding the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman or face the consequences that would include a freeze on all applications of Philippine laborers, the recalling of Taiwan's envoy in Manila and the expulsion of the Philippine envoy in Taipei.

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