Probe on 2 sen­a­tors’ email breach sought

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By MARVIN SY

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pi­mentel III has or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions of op­po­si­tion sen­a­tors that their of­fice emails were hacked.

Although he has not re­ceived an of­fi­cial re­quest from the of­fices of Sen­a­tors Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Fran­cis Pangili­nan, Pi­mentel said he de­cided to take ac­tion any­way since they have al­ready brought it out in the open.

“I have given in­struc­tions to find out from our IT de­part- ment what our se­cu­rity mea­sures are and if such a thing is pos­si­ble and if logs record such a thing,” Pi­mentel said.

In a press brief­ing last Thurs­day, Aquino said that the email ac­counts of two of his staff mem­bers and three from Pangili­nan’s of­fice were hacked in an ap­par­ent at­tempt to link them to a desta­bi­liza­tion plot against the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Aquino said that the breach was sus­pected to have been done us­ing the in­ter­net server of the Se­nate and masked through the use of a vir­tual pri­vate net­work.

Based on their of­fices’ own in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dents, Aquino said that the cul­prits at­tempted to hide their ac­tions by cre­at­ing fil­ters on the af­fected email ac­counts so that the bo­gus emails sent would be deleted from their ac­counts im­me­di­ately.

Aquino said they are co­or­di­nat­ing with the of­fices of the other mem­bers of the Se­nate mi­nor­ity bloc, who they sus­pect could have also been vic­tims of hack­ing based on the sub­ject of the emails they were able to trace from their staff.

He al­leged that the per­pe­tra­tors were try­ing to se­cure email ad­dresses or other pri­vate data from the hacked ac­counts through phish­ing and that it ap­peared that the mem­bers of the Lib­eral Party (LP) were tar­geted.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, the LP sen­a­tors de­nounced the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s con­tin­ued in­sis­tence on link­ing the party to ef­forts to desta­bi­lize the gov­ern­ment.

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