attacks against media

Cyberattack hits CNN Philippines on day of presidential debate

Jodesz Gavilan
Cyberattack hits CNN Philippines on day of presidential debate
This is the latest in a string of cyberattacks against media outlets as the 2022 Philippine elections near

MANILA, Philippines – The website of news outlet CNN Philippines was targeted by a cyberattack as it hosted a presidential debate for the 2022 elections on Sunday night, February 27.

In an advisory posted on its social media channels at around 7:30 pm, CNN Philippines said its website became inaccessible during the debate due to a a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

“We would like to assure everyone that we are working to get the site up and running as soon as possible,” it said.

The CNN Philippines website was eventually up again at around 9:45 pm, over two hours after the news outlet first notified the public of the cyberattack.

DDoS attacks flood servers of websites with requests, causing them to crash and become inaccessible to users. These attacks are illegal in the Philippines under the e-commerce law enacted in 2000.

The latest DDoS attack against CNN Philippines happened as it was hosting a presidential debate, which was attended by all but one presidential candidate – dictator’s son and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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Media outlets such as ABS-CBN, Rappler, Vera Files, and Philstar have repeatedly been targeted by cyberattacks since December 2021. Alternative media outlet Bulatlat and human rights group Karapatan have also been victimized.

A Rappler investigation found that a local hacking group called Pinoy Vendetta publicly claimed credit for a series of DDoS attacks against the media and opposition figures, as well as the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Bayan Muna lawmakers Carlos Zarate and Eufemia Cullamat in February called on the House of Representatives to probe the rising number of cyberattacks as the 2022 elections near. – Rappler.com

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.