Karapatan hits cyber attacks against its website anew

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Following a new report from Sweden-based media foundation Qurium on August 17, 2021, human rights alliance Karapatan once again slammed the recent spate of cyber attacks against its website karapatan.org, which started on July 29 and are still ongoing as of yesterday, August 18.

Qurium noted that the attacks “[took] place amid the online solidarity campaign #StopTheKillingsPH” as “human rights organizations and advocates across the world asserted the call to stop the killings in the Philippines and to prosecute President Rodrigo Duterte for his crimes against the Filipino people.The event also marks one year since the killing of human rights worker Zara Alvarez, that formed a part of Karapatan.”

“These new series of cowardly cyber attacks against our website were obviously made to prevent the public from accessing our reports on the worsening state of human rights in the Philippines — and we know whose interests these attacks serve,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay stated.

According to Qurium, the attacks were composed of application layer web floods, a type of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), specifically against karapatan.org/resources, which contains the directory of Karapatan’s periodical monitors, year-end reports, policy position papers, and other public resources.

Palabay said that “specifically targeting Karapatan’s online resources only means that these attacks were clearly trying to suppress our documentation and human rights work, and of course, the people’s right to freedom of information.”

Last May and June this year, the websites of Karapatan and alternative media outfits Bulatlat and Altermidya were also attacked, and which Qurium traced these attacks to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence of the Philippine Army as well as the Department of Science and Technology. From December 28, 2018 to January 20, 2019, the first series of DDoS attacks against Karapatan’s website was documented by Qurium.

“These attacks only benefit those who want to silence us and our human rights work amid a pervasive state of impunity in the country. We thank our friends from Qurium for documenting these attacks as we seek further investigations on the perpetrators of such attacks,” the Karapatan official ended.

You may view Qurium’s initial forensic report on this wave of cyber attacks through https://www.qurium.org/alerts/philippines/human-rights-alliance-karapatan-under-long-lasting-ddos-attack/

UPDATE (8/26/2021): read Qurium’s full forensic report here: https://www.qurium.org/alerts/philippines/israeli-firm-bright-data-luminati-networks-enabled-the-attacks-against-karapatan/