Corona latest victim of online vandals

Rappler.com
Vice President's website hacked, Chief Justice's Wikipedia profile vandalized

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay and Chief Justice Renato Corona both fell victim to malicious online attacks in the first few days of 2012.

The Wikipedia entry for Chief Justice Renato Corona has been defaced in the past few days, in which the profile of the chief magistrate was maliciously edited.

Based on the page’s editing history, the first edit was done at around 11:40 am GMT (7:40 pm Philippine time) on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, from the IP address 69.61.14.98, who added the line “The Filipino people is hoping for his impeachment at the senate impeachment trial” to his main profile.

IP address lookup sites showed the edit was done in a computer in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

Later, the person using the same IP address, at 11:51 am GMT (7:51 pm Philippine time), changed the Chief Justice title to “Thief Justice,” and added another line maligning the chief magistrate to the profile.

It was finally edited to remove the vandalism at 3:53 pm GMT (11:53 pm Philippine time), by a user using the IP address 112.201.91.183, a user in Quezon City.

Then, around 7:04 am GMT (3 pm Philippine time) Wednesday, 4 January, it was again vandalized by several users with IP addresses originating in the Philippines, but other Wikipedia community members were quick to remove it.

You can view the editing history of the page here.

String of entries

Corona’s page on the online crowdsourcing encyclopedia, where anyone can help edit and add entries, is the latest of a string of entries edited maliciously by online hecklers and vandals.

Wikipedia entries have often been a playground for such online vandalism, in part because of the open nature of the system. Some profiles and pages that have fallen victim to these vandalisms include rapper Kanye West, actress Halle Berry, and the late Australian TV host Steve Irwin.

In many instances, the site locks frequently-vandalized pages from further editing by members of the public, limiting access to a few trusted community members. These pages have included topics on major politicians such as former US president George W Bush.

“Frequent targets of vandalism include articles on hot and controversial topics and current events,” the site said. It has put into place rules on how to deal with such incidents.

Hacked again

On the other hand, the Vice President’s official website, www.ovp.gov.ph, fell victim to hackers on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, causing it to be down for around 15 hours.

“The official website of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) was hacked by the PrivateX group,” the VP’s office acknowledged in a statement Monday, Jan 2, 2012.

The attack occurred at around 4 pm that day, the statement said.

The Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which hosts the site, is now investigating the incident and is putting safeguards to prevent another attack, the OVP said.

“[The] hacking incident has deprived the public, particularly our Overseas Filipino Workers with a channel to communicate with the Vice President,” the statement added.

This was not the first time the OVP site was hacked. It fell victim to hacking twice last year: first, in June, then in July.

The June incident was the third of a series of hackings targeting government sites that month, after the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). – Rappler.com