[Philippines] Alternative media website under DDoS attack amid election coverage

The alternative news organization Kodao Productions reported that its website was under attack in what appears to be a distributed denial of service (DDoS) in the course of its coverage of the ongoing Philippine midterm elections.

In an article, Kodao said DDoS monitoring website DDoSMon reported that its online site experienced 11 attacks starting at 10:58 p.m. on 12 May 2019. The last monitored DDoS attack happened at 11 a.m. during the election day, 13 May 2019.

“Five of the attacks happened after Kodao uploaded a news report on false claims by the Philippine National Police and Army reservists that Makabayan parties have been disqualified by the Commission on Elections,” said Kodao.

The attacks rendered the website difficult to access and briefly prevented site administrators from accessing it.

This is not the first time Kodao and other alternative news organizations experienced cyberattacks in the Philippines. Kodao was first hacked under the Duterte administration on 6 February 2018 and was only able to get back online two months after the attack. In December 2018, Kodao and two other alternative news organizations, namely, Pinoy Weekly and Bulatlat, experienced similar cyber attacks.

All three online news outlets recently filed complaints against technology companies identified as sources of DDoS attacks against their websites.

“The shutdown of these websites apparently happened after the news outfits posted articles about the Communist Party of the Philippines’ 50th anniversary,” said Altermidya,  a network of independent and progressive media outfits, institutions, and individuals, in December.

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