DDoS attacks target the Philippine human rights alliance Karapatan


The Philippine human rights alliance Karapatan has suffered a massive and prolonged Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack for the past three weeks.

The attack comes only a month after the waves of DDoS attacks targeting the alternative online publications Bulatlat and Altermidya.

Qurium Media Foundation, a Swedish non-profit digital security solutions provider has linked the attacks to the local government.

The DDoS attacks are taking place amid the online solidarity campaign #StopTheKillingsPH co-hosted by Karapatan, which marks one year since human rights organizations and advocates across the world asserted the call to stop the killings in the Philippines and to prosecute President Rodrigo Duterte for his crimes against the Filipino people.

The event also marks one year since the killing of human rights worker Zara Alvarez who was an active member of Karapatan.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay stated that these cyber-attacks against their website were made to prevent the public from accessing the reports on the worsening state of human rights in the Philippines.

Qurium’s forensics report reveals that the attack is proxied via 30,000 bots distributed in Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia and China. The attacker has modified the attack strategy numerous times during the past weeks. However, Karapatan has not suffered any downtime during the heavy attacks and the website operates as normal.

In the ongoing research on the DDoS attack against Karapatan, Qurium found that one third of the addresses originated from devices that were not running “Open Proxies” or “Tor exits”. The traces lead them to an Israeli firm named Bright Data offering access to millions of proxies in mobile operators, data centers and residential buildings – a perfect infrastructure to hide the source of DDoS attacks.

Qurium’s forensics report compiles the technical findings about the infrastructure and techniques used to launch the attacks against Karapatan.


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