'Chinese hackers' deface Philippines news website

Suspected Chinese hackers defaced the website of the Philippines News Agency (PNA) on Sunday, officials said, a possible repeat of cyber attacks last year also blamed on China during a territorial row.

The state-run agency's website temporarily displayed the Chinese flag and the text: "China Hacker EvilShadow Team, We are evil shadow. We are the team. We have our own dignity China Hacker Lxxker."

Asked if Chinese hackers were behind the attack, presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said an investigation was pending but added: "The note left on the site tends to invite that conclusion."

Another government spokesman, Herminio Coloma, said the hackers group shared news of the attack via Facebook.

"The site is working again now," Coloma told reporters, but did not say how long it had been down. He added authorities were attempting to track down the group and had beefed up cybersecurity in the wake of the attack.

The hacking came days after Philippine authorities arrested 12 suspected Chinese poachers whose boat ran aground in a protected coral reef in the Sulu Sea that is well within the country's territory.

The poaching was the latest irritant to bilateral relations damaged by overlapping territorial claims to the neighbouring the South China Sea.

Last year, cyberattacks on several government websites were blamed on Chinese hackers during a stand off in Scarborough Shoal, a group of rocky outcrops in the South China Sea that is close to main Philippine island of Luzon.

China claims virtually all of the South China Sea on historical grounds, including waters close to the shores of its neighbours.

The Philippines, as well as Vietnam, have accused Beijing of becoming increasingly aggressive in staking out its claims, stoking potential confrontations.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.