February 9, 2024
MANILA – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Thursday said it was considering that the South China Sea dispute was the reason for the hacking attacks on Philippine government websites.
When asked by reporters if the South China Sea dispute had anything to do with the cyberattacks, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan Uy said they did not rule out any possibilities.
“Anything is possible. So we need to, I think, currently take it at face value and see how things develop. In cyber investigations and in analyzing all of this, we never rule out anything,” said Uy in a Palace briefing.
However, Beijing has also offered to assist the Philippines after the DICT traced the cyber attacks on websites to China.
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“Everything is in the realm of the possible, but we always maintain open arms. Anyone who wants to cooperate, you know, we don’t reject those offers and then see where we go from there,” Uy said.
The DICT thwarted cyber attacks on several government websites, including the Philippine Coast Guard site, one of the country’s frontliners at the disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea.
China has continuously encroached on Philippine waters. Confrontations have resulted in Chinese vessels firing water cannons on Philippine boats, as well as direct collisions.