MANILA, Philippines — A Manila-based media organization’s website was attacked by hackers on Saturday, with perpetuators lacing it with profanity and memes seemingly poking fun at the company’s cybersecurity measures.
“YOU’VE BEEN HACKED. THEY SAID YOU WERE PROTECTED… CAT HACK!” a caption to a cat meme posted on the site’s “stories” section read.
“YOU HAVE BEEN PWNED ? ? LUL… WHAT’S UP N*GGERS.”
The word “pwned” is online leetspeak or corruption of the term “owned,” which means to be dominated by an opponent. The “N-word” however pertains to an offensive racial slur directed at black people, especially African-Americans
Manila Bulletin’s website immediately went “under maintenance” this morning after the cyberattack and continues to be inaccessible. Screenshots of the hacking incident were however captured by state-owned Radyo Pilipinas.
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— Radyo Pilipinas (@radyopilipinas1) August 5, 2023
The site, in its hacked form, could be partially viewed here through cached pages by search engines.
Philstar.com is currently trying to get a statement from Manila Bulletin regarding the matter but has yet to reply with a response.
Attack deprives public of verified info
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) voiced its concern regarding the incident, saying that it robs the public of its right to access accurate news and information.
“Hacks and cyberattacks on news websites are always concerning because these deprive readers access to verified information and means fewer options for them in a media landscape already filled with false information,” said an NUJP officer to Philstar.com.
“This incident highlights the need for corporate media to invest in cybersecurity and orient staff on protocols to keep themselves and their website safe.”
The group said that the incident had already been flagged by NUJP’s safety office for documentation, this as cyber attacks like hacking and DDoS remain threats to the media landscape.