Several news websites targeted in cyber-attacks in the Philippines

Filipino news websites Bulatlat and Kodao Productions were hit with several cyber-attacks between January 19 and 31 and on February 4, 2019. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) have the condemned the targeted attacks as an attempt to silence critical voices.

Bulatlat was one of the websites targeted by DDoS attacks in January and February, 2019.

Between January 19 and 31, as well as on February 4, the websites of Bulatlat and Kodao Productions were targeted with Distribution Denial of Services (DDoS) attacks. The attacks saw both websites go offline. The Bulatlat website is back online, however the Kodao website has not recovered.

In December 2018, the website for Pinoy Weekly was targeted by a DDoS attack, and the NUJP website has also been targeted before.

A DDoS attack is an attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.

Nonoy Espina, NUJP Chairperson, said that the free flow and exchange of ideas is essential to the democratic discourse. Any attempt to curtail this to enforce conformity of thought is anathema to our society.

“We call on the independent Philippine media community to unite in condemnation of and resistance to these attacks. Let us stand by our colleagues in the alternative media, whose work has contributed much to the vibrancy of the Philippine media today,” Nonoy said.

The IFJ said: “These cyber-attacks are part of a strategy carefully planned to violate independent media and press freedom in the Philippines. The blocking or shutting down of websites restricts access to information, which ultimately weakens press freedom and democracy in the Philippines. We stand with our affiliate NUJP in condemning these attempts to silence the media.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram