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Cyber Attack Downs Gordon, Senate Websites As Pharmally Probe Ensues

It's a 'coordinated online attack,' the senator's office said.
by Erwin Colcol
Oct 6, 2021
Photo/s: Shutterstock

The official websites of Sen. Richard Gordon and the Senate went offline after suffering from a cyber attack as the chamber pursued its investigation on the allegedly anomalous deals the government entered into to procure COVID-19 supplies.

Gordon's office on Wednesday reported that a distributed denial of service or DDoS attack caused the senator's website to shut down from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 4.

The "coordinated online attack" took place a day before the Senate blue ribbon committee, which Gordon chairs, resumed its inquiry on the government's COVID-19 pandemic deals, which covers contracts with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

Two days after Gordon's website shut down, the Senate's website also became inaccessible due to a DDoS attack, according to the chamber's Electronic Data Processing-Management Information System.

As of early Wednesday night, the Senate's website remained "down for maintenance."

Screenshot from Senate website
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"We view such service outage or disruption as a serious concern as its timing comes when the Senate Blue Ribbon panel is investigating alleged irregularities in government procurement for COVID-19 supplies and equipment," said Myke Cruz, the information technology officer at Gordon's office.

A DDoS attack is an attempt to shut down an online service or website by overwhelming it with internet traffic from multiple sources.

According to Gordon's office, traffic requests to the senator's website primarily came from China, U.S., Ukraine and other Southeast Asian countries, causing its usual bandwidth traffic to rise to almost 1.8 gigabytes from less than 100 megabytes within an hour.

Gordon earlier warned the public to be more vigilant against false information being propagated by pro-administration social media pages aiming to discredit him and his fellow senators as they investigate the COVID-19 supply deals of the government.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier attacked Gordon in his late-night speeches, accusing the lawmaker of sinophobia and criticizing him for his weight.

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