There are reports that distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against bulatlat.com, altermidya.org, and karapatan.org were traced to the DOST and the Philippine Army. Apparently, one attack originated from an IP address that belongs to the PREGINET (Philippine Research, Education, and Government Information Network) that was established by the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), a DOST-attached agency.
"The implication of DOST’s involvement in said cyberattacks is unfounded and patently false.," the DOST said in a statement.
It added that as part of its responsibility and mandate in terms of information and communications technology (ICT) management, ASTI is part of a larger government network and ASTI assists other government agencies by allowing the use of some of its IP addresses in the local networks of other government agencies.
"The statement that DOST potentially took part in initiating the alleged cyberattacks is false. This statement was solely based on the tracked IP address and does not translate to the Department’s involvement in the matter," the statement reads.
Asked to elaborate on this, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said the agency receives IP addresses from a regional internet registry. It was registered to the DOST because it was the DOST that received it, she explained.
"Ang IP address ay importanteng resource para maka-konekta at mapabilang sa internet. Ang mga IP addresses na ito ay pinapamahagi para magamit ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno para sa connectivity ng kanilang mga organizational network na integral na bahagi na ng halos lahat ng mga makabagong proseso sa buong mundo (An IP address is an important resource to connect to the internet. The IP addresses were distributed among other government agencies, for their organizational networks' connectivity)" she told the Philippine News Agency.
Guevara noted that the IP addresses were already given to government agencies needing these. Thus, they are already in charge of managing their own networks.
"Malinaw po sa amin dito sa DOST na wala kaming bahagi sa mga nabanggit na alleged cyber attacks (It is clear to us at the DOST that we did not take part in the alleged cyberattacks)" the official said.
The DOST built and runs the PREGINET. She said that to combat cyberattacks, there is a need to buy firewalls and network security solutions to protect the local area networks.
"ASTI trusts that the partner agencies adhere to standards and acceptable usage policies within the network," she said. (PNA)