Hackers believed to be from China defaced the Web site of the government-run Philippines News Agency (PNA) on Sunday, in what could be a repeat of last year's cyberattacks related to territorial disputes between the two countries.
PNA said Sunday its site was "defaced by what [seemed] like Chinese hackers", shortly before 12 p.m. on the same day. The site displayed the Chinese flag and a message that read: "China Hacker EvilShadow Team. We are evil shadow. We are the team. We have our own dignity. China Hacker Lxxker. mail:email@example.com."
The site was back to normal after an hour, it added.
Herminio "Sonny" Coloma, secretary at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), said news of the attack was released by a hacker group and shared by others on Facebook.
With the latest hacking incident, the Philippines government will "continue to adopt measures that will strengthen the security of our Web sites", he added.
PNA also noted its site was previously defaced by those claiming to be Chinese hackers during the Scarborough Shoal standoff between the Philippine Navy and Chinese vessels almost a year ago.
In a separate AFP report Sunday, another government spokesperson Abigail Valte said an investigation was pending when asked if Chinese hackers were behind the attack. But she added: "The note left on the site tends to invite that conclusion."
Sunday's cyberattack on the PNA site comes less than a week after Philippine authorities arrested and charged 12 Chinese nationals with poaching. The Chinese boat ran aground in a protected coral reef in the Sulu Sea, which is within Philippine territory, the AFP reported.