PH senator raises concern over cyber threats from China

    In 2016, Finland-based cybersecurity firm F-Secure traced to China a malware used to spy on the Philippine Government and other parties related to the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
    Cyber espionage attacks are being carried out by China against internet users in the Philippines.
    “China has no respect for our sovereignty so we in the Philippines must be vigilant. Let’s help make sure that the interests and welfare of the Philippines are upheld,” says Senator Risa Hontiveros in Filipino.
    China might deploy tactics to interfere with the upcoming elections next year she adds.
    The National Defense and Information and Communications Technology agencies are “to immediately look into Kaspersky’s report.”

    MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros calls on the Government to investigate cyber espionage attacks reported by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. According to Kaspersky, it has found “a rare, wide-scale advanced persistent threat (APT) campaign against users in Southeast Asia, most notably Myanmar and the Philippines driven by “Chinese-speaking threat actors.”

    The firm has already identified some 1,400 victims, including Government entities. A ‘cluster of activity’ attributed to a group called LuminousMoth, which Kaspersky tied to a Chinese state-sponsored hacking group called HoneyMyte or Mustang Panda, was found responsible for the cyber attack on Philippine users.

    The group has allegedly collected intelligence from a U.S. think tank and the Vatican. However, it is interested in Asia and Africa.

    Senator Hontiveros says she “will not be surprised if China interferes in our elections.”

    “Obviously, they will do everything to permanently claim our waters and territories in the West Philippine Sea, and this includes appointing a leader who will not contradict their orders,” she points out.

    “China’s cyber warfare and disinformation campaigns will be one of the biggest threats to our national security and our democracy.”

    She raises these concerns to both the National Defense and the Information and Communications Technology departments, national agencies that should strengthen the cyber defense framework of the country. Reported cyber attacks in the past were also allegedly linked to China. (RA/The MiNT)

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