Gordon attacked online, website shut down for hours


Senator Richard Gordon (screenshot / Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard Gordon, who is leading an investigation into alleged irregular supply contracts for pandemic supplies, said on Wednesday that his official website was the subject of a coordinated online attack on October 4, closing it for six hours.

It was the latest in a series of actions targeting the chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon panel, who has been in the sights of President Rodrigo Duterte since he launched an investigation into the use of the funds. government pandemic response in August.

“We view such an interruption or disruption in service as a serious concern because its moment comes when the Senate Blue Ribbon Group is investigating suspected irregularities in public procurement of COVID-19 supplies and equipment,” the office said. from Gordon in a press release.

The Senate website was shut down Wednesday due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from several countries, according to its Office of Electronic Data Processing and Management Information System (EDP-MIS).

Overwhelming traffic

The attack was observed before noon. The website was still not accessible at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service or website unavailable by flooding it with internet traffic from multiple sources. Senator Gordon’s official website was also the victim of a DDoS attack on October 4, ”said EDP-MIS.

A day before the attack, Gordon said he was the target of “online demolition work” by allegedly pro-administration social media pages following the president’s continued verbal assaults on him.

The senator said the sudden wave of “fake news and fake click-bait headlines” was meant to distract from the corruption issues plaguing the Duterte administration, including the scandal involving Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang.

Challenged expenses

Gordon’s committee angered Mr Duterte for investigating alleged irregularities in the government’s spending of pandemic response funds, including the 42 billion pesos transferred by the health ministry to the purchasing department of the Ministry of Budget and Management to purchase medical supplies.

The lion’s share of the money, 11.5 billion pesos, went to supply contracts with Pharmally, whose executives named Yang as the guarantor and lender of their company which had a paid-up capital of just 625,000. pesos in 2019 and zero income. when the pandemic hit last year.

Gordon’s chief information officer Myke Cruz said a DDoS attack, usually patched through the dark web in exchange for a high price tag, caused the senator’s website to shut down from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. .

The administrators of dickgordon.ph were able to resolve the issue by barring entry of traffic from outside the Philippines at around 1:00 p.m. The attack by foreigners persisted until 3:04 p.m.

Cruz said the huge “requests” for traffic to Gordon’s website came mainly from China, the United States, Ukraine and several countries in Southeast Asia.

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