Hackers bring PH-China dispute to cyberspace

A+
A
A-

Outnumbered in terms of warships, warplanes and ground troops, the Philippines wants no war with China even in cyberspace.

After hackers from both sides defaced each other’s websites, dramatizing the two countries’ conflicting claims over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, President Benigno Aquino III’s deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte on Sunday urged both Filipinos and Chinese to refrain from escalating tensions.

“It will not bode well for anybody from both sides to increase tension because of the issue,” Valte said in an interview over government radio dzRB. “We call on citizens, including ours, to exercise civil temperance.”

Valte was referring to recent attacks against Philippine and Chinese websites by hackers claiming that Panatag, or Huangyan Island to Chinese, is within their country’s territory. The shoal is located west of Zambales and, Philippine officials say, is well within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

On Friday, hackers claiming, “We come from China! Huangyan Island is Ours,” defaced the website of the University of the Philippines (UP). The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) immediately called for an investigation.

‘Shoal is ours’

Rival hackers struck back.

On Saturday, a hacker (or hackers) bearing the name “Anonymous#Occupy Philippines” attacked the China University Media Union website, replacing its homepage content with a digitized image of a Guy Fawkes mask. The hacker said: “Chinese government is clearly retarded. Scarborough Shoal is ours!”

Guy Fawkes is a 16th-century English protester. His mask symbolizes the global protest hacking group called “Anonymous.”

Also attacked was a Chinese government website, where hackers posted a map of the West Philippine Sea and said the Spratly Islands—also a disputed cluster of isles and believed rich in oil and natural gas—belonged to the Philippines.

The UP website, meanwhile, was back online on Saturday.

Talks to continue

Valte did not think the cyber attacks would affect efforts by  Manila and Beijing to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff in Panatag.

“We don’t see that it will have any negative effect on the talks. We will continue to pursue the talks. We will continue to pursue the diplomatic track,” she said.

At present, talks between the two sides were “on and off,” according to Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang.

Malacañang, at the same time, gave China its assurance that the current Philippine military exercises with the United States had nothing to do with the issue of Panatag, saying the exercises had been scheduled for some time. With a report from AFP

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MAGGTSJJXAWS4625HXWMB2OAIQ Marlou

    Tama lng ginawa ng Pinoy Hackers…. Mga Greedy Chinese naman naguna nag hack sa UP website… bakit tayo magpatalo na mas magaling ang mga pinoy kaysa sa mga singit na swapang….

  • http://www.neverendingfootsteps.com/2011/12/14/the-things-i-hated-most-about-china/ Lucky Luciano

    lppmDOTbigcDOTeduDOTcn/defaceDOThtm

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FWD5IDZT7SXOEHKLE3O7CGFOAE Bright

    Kudos to the PHL hackers. How about creating an official agency for this? 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MVGHWWFVPFBW3VAPDWHW47QB2E Emmanuel

      Ngeks. Kung hacker ka ba, magki-create ka ng official agency.. tama na yung andyan lang sila..silent but deadly.. 

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94