MANILA – Minority senators are crying foul over alleged hacking incidents involving email addresses of the employees of two senators, Bam Aquino and Kiko Pangilinan, and expressed apprehension that such could also be laying the groundwork for linking opposition leaders to supposed destabilization plots.
The involved senators have turned to the National Bureau of Investigation for assist.
“We in the political opposition are seriously concerned about several hacking incidents concerning the email addresses of our staff from the offices of Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Bam Aquino, and just now the official email addresses for releasing media statements of Sen. Pangilinan and the Liberal Party,” stated the assertion issued by Pangilinan, Aquino, Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima.
“The nature of the breach in all instances is the same: Unauthorized users sent emails using the staff and party addresses. We have reported previous incidents to the National Bureau of Investigation and we await updates on the matter. We seek the help of the Senate President and the Senate sergeant-at-arms to look into the matter and to secure the services of experts.”
The minority stated the incidents “seem to form part of a pattern to pin the political opposition for imaginary destabilization attempts. These are cause for concern as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre spearheaded the creation of the Citizen National Guard, which says that dissent is destabilization.”
The minority reiterated, “There is no destabilization plot. Dissent is not destabilization. Dissent is indispensable in a democracy.”
Constitutional democracy, the senators added, “protects the small voice, including the minority and the individual citizen, vis-a-vis the many and especially the all-powerful state.”
Planted messages in draft folders
According to Aquino, some messages appeared to have been planted within the draft folders of their employees, together with messages with the purported topic: “Leaked media plan to destroy PRRD.”
Pangilinan’s employees, in the meantime, had detected makes an attempt by hackers since March 21, 2017. They found email they didn’t write, bearing the topic, “the investigation on DDS,” an apparent reference to the “die-hard Duterte supporters” and the “Davao Death Squad.”
On Sept. 17, they detected a stray email with the heading, “Duterte bank account details” however which contained nothing when clicked.
There was additionally an attempt to use the email account of 1 employees to hack the web site of the Government Service Insurance system (GSIS).
On Wednesday, Oct, 11, three hacking incidents had been unearthed.
The emails had been both empty when clicked, or laden with virus.
Besides NBI, the senators reported the intrusions to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Aquino stated the NBI has a cybercrime division that may hint the culprits, whereas the AFP wants to be flagged as a result of, “if you look at the subject matter, destabilization attempt, [which some people insist on tying to the] opposition.”
In the preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the email of some employees was accessed utilizing the Senate wi-fi.
The email addresses utilized by the hacker had been Philippine primarily based, however one IT deal with got here from the US.
In Aquino’s view, the purpose of the train partakes of “planting evidence [so that] in the future [it can be said there’s a] conspiracy, and there is a narrative, and evidence.”
This can’t be characterised as a mere prank. he added, as a result of in addition to being unlawful, it may trigger battle within the nation.
Aquino stated he doesn’t know who’s behind the hacking, however expressed hope that the Duterte administration, which repeatedly accused them of plotting to convey him down, shouldn’t be behind it.