MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) condemned the recent string of cyber attacks of Malaysian and Philippine websites over the clashes between the “royal army” of the Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysian security forces in Sabah.
“We condemn all cyber attacks regardless from which side they are coming from,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
“We call on both Filipino and Malaysian citizens to be more responsible and encourage dialogue rather than discord,” Hernandez said.
Several private- and government-owned websites in both countries were hit by hackers from the other side. Hackers were reportedly members of the international hacktivist group Anonymous.
The stand-off in Tanduao village in Lahad Datu has lasted at least three weeks with violence escalating over the weekend after a clash last Friday.
In the first encounter on Friday, 12 supporters of the Sultanate and two Malaysian policemen were killed. A separate firefight occurred Saturday night in Semporna town, 300 kilometers away from Lahad Datu. Five Malaysian policemen and two armed Filipinos suspected of being part of the group in Lahad Datu were killed.
The cyber attacks began shortly after the first of the clashes on the ground.
Anonymous had reportedly made a statement asking hackers from both countries to stop their cyber attacks.
“The petty cyber war will gain us nothing but wrong impressions from ordinary people… Let us help both the Philippines and Malaysia unite, not find a reason to fight,” it said.