Cybersecurity advocates report AFP domain site defaced with ‘Legend of Korra’ character

November 14, 2023 - 11:43 AM
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Screenshot of AFP's sub-domain (deepwebkonekofficial/Facebook)

An Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) online domain was recently defaced with an image of a cartoon character.

This incident was first reported by Deep Web Konek, a group of cybersecurity advocates, on Monday. In its report, the link contained AFP’s official domain address.

The group said that the threat actor introduced itself as “Hao Sheng.”

“[Hashtag] #CyberThreat: SUBDOMAIN OF AFP WEBSITE WAS DEFACED. A subdomain of the Armed Forces of the Philippines website was seen defaced by a certain threat actor named ‘Hao Sheng’,” Deep Web Konek said.

The group also accompanied its post with a screenshot of the domain’s page. It showed a picture of Pabu, a fire ferret owned by Bolin and Mako, two supporting characters in Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra.”

Based on the URL, the affected page was related to AFP’s Office of the Command Inspector General (OCIG).

Dominic Ligot, board member of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), also reacted to this report.

He shared a screenshot that showed the cartoon character image seemed to be picked out from a Tumblr account.

As of writing, the link itself can still be accessible in some browsers.

No government agency has also issued a statement on the matter.

This incident came after the website of the House of Representatives (HoR) was hacked on October 15.

That day, HoR’s homepage was replaced with a meme face and a text, saying: “Happy April Fullz Kahit October Palang! Fix Your Website! You’ve been hacked. Have a nice day.”

This prompted the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to issue an advisory announcing an investigation was launched to determine the perpetrators of this unauthorized access to HoR’s servers.

“Ang DICT ay nananatiling isang aktibong kaakibat ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno sa paggampan ng kanilang pangunahing responsibilidad na panatilihin ang seguridad at kaligtasan ng kanilang mga ICT systems at infrastructure mula sa mga cyber threats,” the department said.

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In the same month, AFP Chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. unveiled that some leaked “old files” of the military were still circulating “on the dark web.”

“We investigated this right away. We found out that these are old files. We had a hacking before, two years ago, but the files [were] not really the sensitive files. These are still circulating on the dark web,” Brawner was quoted in a report as saying.

The AFP chief also said that the organization has been able to ward off cyberattacks since the hacking incident in 2021.