PETALING JAYA: Malaysian and Filipino hackers waged a cyber war over the weekend before stopping a little after midnight on Monday.
Hackers claiming to be from the Malaysian and Filipino chapters of the hacktivist group Anonymous attacked websites of both countries.
It is believed that the online attacks were first made by Malaysians, hours after a skirmish erupted between the police and Sulu gunmen on Friday.
A message written in Tagalog posted on Anonymous Malaysia’s Facebook page that day warned Filipinos that they would strike.
Filipino blog Pinoy Tech News first reported that some government websites were hit by denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
Other sites were defaced, with messages reading: “Bring Your Ship and Take Back Your Dogs, Stop Killing Malaysian Army & Police. Otherwise, We Will Attack Philippine Government’s Website.”
Filipino hackers retaliated, attacking several Malaysian private and Government-owned websites.
They claimed to have crashed some government websites, announcing so on Facebook. They also told their followers to launch DoS attacks against local sites.
It is believed that over 200 websites were attacked in three days of “fighting” between the groups.
A few sites even had their login usernames and passwords put up online for public viewing.
A statement by Anonymous called for hackers of both countries to stand down, but to no avail.
“The petty cyber war will gain us nothing but wrong impressions from ordinary people. Let us help both The Philippines and Malaysia unite, not find a reason to fight,” it said.
An Anonymous Malaysia spokesman said local hackers initiated the attacks because of events in Sabah.
“We started it because we want to protect our friends in Sabah. We couldn’t just sit around and do nothing,” they said in a Facebook message.
The attacks stopped when hackers from both sides agreed to a “ceasefire”.
The two groups then agreed to leave the Sabah matter to their governments.
Cyber Security Malaysia chief executive officer Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said the Government was well aware of the matter, and declined further comment.