Country takes help of Blackhat Hackers infiltrating government websites

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When a company’s website falls victim to hacking, conventional practice dictates that its IT staff or business leaders seek the assistance of forensic experts in cybersecurity to navigate negotiations with hackers and mitigate the situation. However, the Philippines has taken a unique approach by engaging the services of Blackhat hackers, known for their expertise in cyber attacks on government websites in the West. This unorthodox strategy aims to fortify the nation’s defenses against state-sponsored attacks, particularly those emanating from the Chinese federation.

Escalating tensions in the South China Sea have left the Philippine government feeling vulnerable, with a significant surge of 75% in digital attacks on its national infrastructure over the past few months. Palo Alto Networks, a U.S.-based cybersecurity firm, compiled a report revealing that the 55-member understaffed cyber expert team is struggling to combat the increasingly sophisticated cyber assaults. In response, the government is actively recruiting Blackhat hackers from the dark web and online marketplaces to augment its capabilities and safeguard the nation.

These hired specialists contribute valuable insights into data breaches, network disruptions, and imminent threats, aiding the Department of Information and Communications Technology in successfully repelling two large Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) threats on national infrastructure. The Philippines government’s decision to enlist the help of these unconventional experts stems from budgetary constraints preventing proactive security measures against looming threats. Additionally, the government faces challenges in retaining in-house talent due to the inability to offer competitive salaries, resulting in the migration of skilled professionals to countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK.

In an interim strategy to counter Chinese digital threats, the Philippines is allocating resources within its budget to hire cybersecurity specialists. Plans are also underway to establish a permanent team of “Cyber warriors” by September of this year.

It’s important to note that the Xi Jinping-led Chinese government has dismissed these media speculations as baseless.

In an exclusive statement to Bloomberg, China emphasized that it is often a victim of hacking, refuting rumors of its involvement in digital assaults.

Interestingly, China has labeled the United States, led by President Joe Biden, as the world’s top hacker responsible for state-funded attacks.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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