Sunday, August 29, 2010

Philippine website 'hacked by Chinese'

The website of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) was defaced by hackers on Sunday and appears to be a reaction to the Manila bus siege which came to a bloody end leaving eight tourists from Hong Kong dead. 

The PIA website was left black with a Chinese flag placed prominently at the top of the page. Underneath were the words "Hacked by 7z1" and "Black Matrix team |". Shortly afterwards the website was taken down. 

The People's Republic of China demanded an apology for last week's hostage crisis at the Quirino Grandstand. The hostage-taker, dismissed policeman Rolando Mendoza, was killed after police stormed the tourist bus where the hostages were held for 11 hours. However the operation has been widely criticised. In the evening broadcast on Sky News, Peter Sharp described it as "a text book example of how not to carry out a hostage rescue".

There was criticism too when a Philippines flag was placed over the coffin of the hostage taker. The Chinese embassy said the placing of the flag on the coffin inferred that Rolando Mendoza had died a hero. The Philippines government attempted to defuse the situation saying the flag had been placed there by Mendoza's family and been removed later by a city official. There have bee calls from Hong Kong and from official in Beijing for a thorough investigation into the incident. 

While calls from the families for an inquiry is understandable, Beijing's demanding of an investigation is somewhat ironic given their reticence to investigate countless controversial incidents in its past. The so-called Tiananmen Square massacre still casts a dark shadow over the CCP. Accusations of corruption concerning building construction in Sichuan, after the collapse of schools in the 2008 earthquake resulted in the deaths of many children, have never been properly investigated. Even the milk scandal has brought only a few convictions with many seeing some perpetrators as having escaped justice or receiving only light sentences. 

The incident which occurred in the Philippines is a rallying call, and a way for China to build nationalist sentiment, even if unofficially. Attacks and criticism on Chinese values or on China are often met with hostility. CNN came under particular criticism after Jack Cafferty's infamous "thugs and goons" reference to the ruling Chinese Communist Party [Video].

That brought condemnation from millions of so-called netizens and CNN's website was briefly hacked. Similar reactions were seen over the Tibetan protests that followed the Olympic torch around the globe, and of what many in China considered to be biased reporting in western media [Video]. As well as traditional protests, hacking websites appears to be a common reaction [CNET]. Such attacks are not officially sanctioned, and authorities vigorously deny any hand in such activities. Nonetheless, the messages sent out from Chinese leaders is enough to encourage the nationalist hackers.
The reason behind the recent hacks in the Philippines can only be speculated. Several other government websites have been hacked in the past, including those of the departments of Labour and Employment, Social Welfare and Development, Health, the National Disaster Coordinating Council, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. The source of some attacks may be domestic. But the Philippines may now have found some new enemies abroad [ABS-CBN / GMA News].

tvnewswatch, London, UK

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People killing people dying
Children hurtin you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father Father Father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
Where is the love?