June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

House IT team repels 541.66 million website attacks on Wednesday

House Secretary General Reginald Velasco and Office of the Secretary General (OSG) Director Arnold de Castro answer questions from the media during a press conference at the House of Representatives Thursday afternoon (March 14, 2024). They discussed the severe cyber attack, known as the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), apparently aimed at disrupting the normal operation of House website by flooding it with an overwhelming amount of internet traffic to render it inaccessible to the public.

THE House of Representatives announced Thursday that its IT team has successfully blocked and managed a staggering 541.66 million attacks on its website on Wednesday, indicating what industry experts call a Distributed Denial-of-Service or DDoS attack.

House Secretary General Reginald “Reggie” S. Velasco made the announcement during the regular press briefing at the House Thursday, commending the (Information and Communication Technology Service) ICTS team for fending off what could have proven as serious breaches in the chamber’s website.

“A staggering 53.72 million attacks were recorded between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday) originating from Indonesia, the United States, Columbia, India and the Russian Federation, which may not be accurate if they are using a VPN,” Velasco said.

“And at 2:52 pm yesterday (Wednesday), a whopping 487.93 million attacks were also recorded, from sources in Tunisia, Thailand and Greece, which again may not be accurate, which brings the total amount of attacks to 541.66 million,” he added.

Velasco said the ICTS team has assured us that they have blocked and managed all of these attacks through the Cloudflare service, displayed an “under maintenance notice,” restarted the servers and continued normal operations. 

He bared that the incident has also been reported to the DICT and that no further attacks have been observed since, as the ICTS team continues to monitor for unusual internet activity on the website.

“We commend the ICTS Team for its nimble and perceptive handling of the DDoS attacks on the website. The Congress website has been under attack in the past from hackers, and we are grateful for a competent team of IT professionals who vigilantly repel these attacks,” Velasco declared.

“We call on the DICT to investigate these DDoS attacks and ascertain where they are really coming from, if they are local or foreign hackers or a collaboration of both. We must know the reason for these attacks, is it for money or for political reasons as they may have been contracted to destabilize our institution for whatever purpose,” he added.

Velasco then asked the ICTS team to be more vigilant against these attacks. 

“The Filipino people are counting on us to bring them relevant information through our website, so it must remain up and running at all times,” he said.

“Lastly, we assure the people that the attacks have been repelled and put under control, and no further malicious activity on the website has been recorded. Makakaasa po kayo na mas matindi po ang ating resolve sa Kongreso kaysa sa mga hackers na gustong sirain ang ating website.” (