Hackers attacked various government websites, including that of the Philippine National Police, more than 1,000 times since 2003, a police official said Tuesday.

Eighty-one government agencies have already suffered 1,340 attacks in the form of website defacement, Dir. Samuel Pagdilao, chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said in a statement.

According to the official, websites of the Department of Science and Technology suffered the most number of attacks with 73, followed by the the Philippine Institute for Development Studies with 36, Department of Health and Department of Labor and Employment with 17 each, the National Economic Development Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development with 11 each.

Hackers did not spare even the PNP website, which suffered 15 attacks since 2003, Pagdilao said.

Other government websites that were defaced include that of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the Ombudsman, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice, and the Supreme Court.

Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, head of the CIDG Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division, said defacement of government websites were most prevalent in 2006. Hackers activities gradually receded in 2007 to 2008 only to resume their activities in 2009 onwards.

“Our analysis on the data shows that a total of 289 different individuals or groups were responsible for defacing government websites. The group ‘The Hacker’ has the highest number of defacements to its credit, followed by ‘Ashiyane Digital Security Team’,” Sosa said.

The basic motive is that the perpetrators want their work to be known in the circles of hackers, according to the official.

Sosa said the CIDG plans to revive the CIDG-based Government Computer Security and Incident Response Team (GCSIRT) to respond to attacks on government websites. (John Roson)

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