In November, members of the Anonymous collective defaced 37 Philippine government websites in line with the global Million Mask March movement. And this is just the most recent of the numerous attacks against the government and its websites. This week, the Philippine government asked the hackers not to touch the recently launched Open Data government portal.
Open Data, which went live last week, is the government’s take on promoting transparency and accountability among the different government agencies in the Philippines. It includes infographics, spreadsheets and other government data sets for public consumption.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told Rappler that the portal is intended to provide data and empower the people so Filipino citizens can be its partners in finding solutions at the local level.
Lacierda adds, security measures are in place for the portal, but he still pursues the request to hackers. He says it’s not in the interest of Filipinos to damage this type of information deemed useful for citizens.
Last June, the government also launched its own cloud platform, iGovPhil, to improve security among government agency websites. Despite that, three of the attacked websites during the Million Mask March commemoration were already under said platform, but were still defaced. Lacierda defends iGovPhil, saying it wasn’t fully-operational at that time.
Meanwhile, we haven’t seen attacks from the group since an Anonymous Philippines member was caught after the Million Mask March attacks. As of now, we can’t yet be sure that no attacks will occur. We’ve seen how the group can be quiet for months and suddenly surprise the government with a defacement. Maybe it all boils down to more robust security measures in place, or are they too smart for that?
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)