Gordon’s Senate and websites cyberattacked in Pharmally investigation

MANILA, Philippines – The websites of the Senate and Blue Ribbon Chairman Richard Gordon fell victim to cyberattacks this week as the panel advanced its high-profile investigation into the government’s anomalous deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

Access to the Senate website has been “temporarily blocked” due to an “ongoing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack,” the office of electronic data, processing management and administration told reporters. of the information system of the room.

DDoS attacks are carried out to disrupt the normal online activities of a website or network by flooding it with traffic requests.

Meanwhile, Gordon’s office said his website also suffered DDoS last Monday, warning that the effort could be linked to the Pharmally hearings he is leading as president of the Blue Ribbon.

The website, dickgordon.ph, had to shut down from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. due to a “coordinated online attack” by foreign users, said Myke Cruz, chief information officer at the office of Gordon, in a statement released earlier Wednesday.

“We view such an interruption or disruption in service as a serious concern as its moment comes when the Senate Blue Ribbon Panel is investigating suspected irregularities in public procurement of COVID-19 supplies and equipment,” said Cruz.

Cruz said the majority of traffic requests to Gordon’s website came from China, the United States, Ukraine and other countries in Southeast Asia, pushing the typical bandwidth traffic of less than 100MB to almost 1.8GB in less than an hour.

Administrators managed to contain the problem by barring entry of traffic from outside the Philippines at around 1 p.m., but the attack by foreigners persisted until 3:04 p.m.

While Gordon’s site has returned to normal, the official Senate site is still inaccessible at the time of this writing.

Duterte attacks the Pharmally probe

The attack comes as President Rodrigo Duterte continues to assault members of the Senate, Gordon in particular, over their investigation, which has closed on those appointed by the CEO and others linked to him.

The struggling Pharmally leaders met the president in Davao City as early as 2017 with his then economic adviser, Michael Yang.

Yang, who initially tried to deny any connection to Pharmally, has since been named by the company as its financier and guarantor to suppliers.

Meanwhile, it was a person named by Duterte who headed the purchasing department of the Department of Budget and Management when it awarded the biggest pandemic contracts to the new under-capitalized company.

Senators estimate that contracts awarded to Pharmally could be worth as much as 12 billion pesos, far more than the 8.68 billion pesos recorded by the Audit Commission.

READ: “Shortcut”: Senators Call Pharmally’s Supply Documents Incomplete and Abnormal

The official in question, Lloyd Christopher Lao, a former PS-DBM official, worked as Duterte’s electoral lawyer before he entered the civil service.

Duterte formally banned members of the executive department on Monday from attending the Senate panel investigation. Senators criticized the order as patently unconstitutional.

When the hearing resumed the next day, senators were unable to address questions to the DBM and the Ministry of Health, whose leaders skipped the hearing on instructions from the president.

RELATED: Michael Yang, Appointed as Pharmally Supporter, Skips Senate Blood Pressure Hearing | ‘Nalugi kami’: Local manufacturer answered call for masks but deliveries were ‘pushed, delayed’ by government

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