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#AprilLulzAlert: Filipino Hacking Groups Simultaneously Targeting PH Government Websites

April 2, 2024
Updated on April 2, 2024

Several Philippine Government websites were targeted by a series of cyberattacks on April 1 by various Filipino hacking groups as part of April Lulz Day, a supposed annual hacking event celebrated by LulzSec affiliates and local and international hackers. According to reports, these cyber-attacks mostly comprised of unauthorized access to databases, giving hackers access to sensitive information such as names, addresses, and contact numbers.  

Deep Web Konek, a group of cybersecurity enthusiasts actively reporting cybersecurity incidents, compiled a list of government websites and organizations that were allegedly breached:

  • Philippine Statistical Association Inc. (PCAI): Breach of their SQL database by an unnamed assailant/group
  • Department of Science and Technology (DOST): The employee database was breached by a group called the DarkArmy CyberSec Group.PH.
  • Municipal Government of Kalayaan, Palawan: The SQL database was also breached by DarkArmy CyberSec Group.PH.
  • Davao City’s scholar data repository: Breached by DarkArmy CyberSec Group.PH.
  • Ormoc Sanggunian Panlalawigan lists: Breached by DarkArmy CyberSec Group.PH.
  • National Housing Mortgage Financing Corporation (NHMFC): Data breach involving approximately 55GB of sensitive data including employee details, loan information, etc. by a user called AppleIp.
  • Region VIII of Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Information System (FFEDIS): Data breach involving sensitive information such as customer details and contact numbers by a user called mekju.
  • New Era University: A breach of critical school systems compromising student information, unencrypted passwords, and payroll information, by a user known as Sochi Rce.
  • The Bureau of Plant Industry: Website defaced by hacking group Philippine Exodus Security

LulzSec, Who are They?

LulzSec was an infamous Black Hat hacker group known for its large-scale cybersecurity activities in 2011, targeting several well-known corporations such as Sony and Fox and even claiming to have breached other government entities such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) website. The motive of the group was simply for amusement (Lulz) and not for political or financial gain.

While the group’s activities in the cybersecurity landscape were short-lived, disbanding in the same year in 2011, the group gained notoriety for their unusual approach to exposing vulnerabilities and spurring a global dialogue regarding online security. Nonetheless, several individuals and groups have reportedly been carrying on their legacy of hacking for “fun” or “for the lulz” and incorporating “LulzSec” in their names, as well as celebrating an annual hacking event dubbed April Lulz Day. 

Pinoy LulzSec: Well-known Cyber Attacks In the Philippines

Comeleak, 2016

On March 7, 2016, Philippine hacktivist group Anonymous Philippines breached and defaced the Commission of Elections (COMELEC) website, just a month before the Philippines’ third automated election. A day after, on March 28, Pinoy LulzSec (Previously LulzSec Pilipinas) accessed the COMELEC database containing the data of 70 million registered voters and leaked it on their Facebook page and, and even going as far as creating a search engine for the leaked information. This event was regarded as the largest leak of personal information in Philippine history and dubbed the “Comeleak.”

April Lulz Day 2018

Dozens of local and international websites were reported to have been breached by Pinoy LulzSec on April 1, 2018, in line with the annual April Lulz Day event. Aside from websites, the databases of some Department of Education (DepEd) offices were also said to have been compromised.

April Lulz Day 2019

Pinoy LulzSec participated in the “April Lulz Day 2019” event wherein several Philippine websites, including the database of the Armed Forces of the Philippines website and hundreds of Facebook accounts, were compromised. According to reports, LulzSec affiliate groups in Argentina, Italy, and the Philippines have been the most active in posting their successful “hacks and exploits.”

As of June 12, 2021, Pinoy LulzSec has officially disbanded.

Hotline and Resources for Reporting Online Scams or Fraudulent Activities: 

Scam Watch Piipinas: Inter-Agency Response Center Hotline 

Advocacy group Scam Watch Pilipinas urges the public to reach out to the 24/7 Inter-Agency Response Center (I-ARC) hotline to report fraudulent activities. 

  • Main Hotline: 1326 
  • SMART: 0947-714-7105 
  • GLOBE: 0966-976-5971 
  • DITO: 0991-481-4225 

Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) 

Philippine National Police (PNP): Anti Cybercrime Group (ACG) 

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI): Cyber Crime Division (CCD)  

Department of Justice: Office of Cybercrime 

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