Bloody Sabah clashes spark PH-Malaysia cyberattacks

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March 5th, 2013 02:25 AM

PETALING JAYA—Cyberattacks raged between Malaysian and Filipino hackers over the weekend, mirroring the ground skirmishes in Sabah on Friday and Saturday.

Hackers claiming to be from Malaysian and Filipino chapters of the hacktivist group Anonymous attacked websites of both countries.

It was believed that the first online attacks were made by Malaysians, hours after a skirmish erupted between police and Sulu armed men on Friday.

A message written in Filipino posted on Anonymous Malaysia’s Facebook page that day warned Filipinos that they would strike.

Filipino blog Pinoy Tech News first reported that some Philippine websites were hit by denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Others were defaced.

Filipino hackers then retaliated, attacking and defacing several Malaysian private- and government-owned websites. Some claimed to have crashed some Malaysian government websites, and publicly announced their exploits over Facebook. They also called for their followers to launch DoS attacks against local sites.

Supporters of the Filipinos manipulated Google search listings to show a message backing the incursion.

A Google search for the word “Sabah,” the state at the center of Malaysia’s biggest security crisis in years, came back with a search results page that quotes “Wikipedia” calling Malaysian control of the state “illegitimate.”

“Sabah is illegitimately considered one of the 13 member states of Malaysia, and is said to be its easternmost state but in fact, it is part of the sultanate of Sulu,” the passage read, shown in a box previewing the Wikipedia entry for Sabah.

The website of Stamford College in Malaysia was apparently hacked at the weekend, its front page replaced by a message that said: “The time has come to reclaim what is truly ours.”

“Sabah is owned by the Philippines, you illegally (sic) claiming it,” it said.

A statement purportedly made by Anonymous called on hackers of both countries to stand down.

“The petty cyberwar will gain us nothing but wrong impressions from ordinary people… Let us help both the Philippines and Malaysia unite, not find a reason to fight,” it said.

CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Dr. Amiruddin Abdul Wahab said that the government was well aware of the matter but declined further comment.

Originally posted: 11:41 am | Monday, March 4th, 2013

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