Asia PacificCyberTechnology

Philippines Working With Hackers Against State-Backed Cyberattacks

The Philippine government is employing hackers to counter an increase in foreign state-sponsored cyberattacks, according to an official

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Jeffrey Ian Dy said in a Bloomberg report Manila is occasionally working with anonymous “black hat” personnel to support its cyber response team.

Black hats are hackers who exploit network systems for their own benefit while disregarding ethical standards and existing laws.

These illegal hackers are contrasted with “white hat” experts who operate to recommend solutions and improve the protection of an organization’s network.

Against ‘Looming Threats’

DICT’s move to engage with black hats is considered necessary as the government’s existing team only has 35 members.

Although detailed information on their role was not specified, Dy explained that the black hats “are willing to offer tips on looming threats.”

The undersecretary noted that some of the personnel “may have previously attacked government websites.”

“Do we even have the capability, with just 30 people looking at each and every weakness? We do not,” Dy stated. “We do our best to defend the republic.”

Recent Cybersecurity Efforts

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced last month that the executive office will review senate bills to advance the nation’s cyber modernization programs.

In October, Manila said that future military exercises will incorporate drills focusing on the digital domain to secure the country from evolving threats and malicious actors.

The Philippine Department of Defense and Danish officials signed an agreement the same month to boost strategic cooperation in cyber defense and information technology in response to growing digital threats being experienced in both countries.

Simultaneously, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it will launch an independent military command to support the country and its warfighters against cyberattacks.

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