‘Government-backed attackers’ attempt to hack Robredo spox’s Gmail account

September 3, 2021 - 4:37 PM
Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in Warsaw
A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. (Reuters/Kacper Pempel/File Photo)

The spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo claimed that there was an attempt to hack into his Google account by what was identified as “government-backed attackers” by the tech giant.

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez on Friday shared a screengrab of a browser that showed that there was an attempt to “steal” the password of his Gmail account.

“Talaga naman,” he wrote in his post.

The alert from Google reads:

Government-backed attackers may be trying to steal your password

There’s a chance the alert is a false alarm, but believed we detected government-backed attackers trying to steal your password. This happens to less than 0.1% of all Gmail users. We can’t reveal what tipped us off because the attackers will take note and change their tactics, but if they are successful at some point they could access your data or take other actions using your account. To further improve your security, based on your current settings we recommend: 

Join the Advanced Protection Program
Google’s strongest protection for users at risk of targeted attacks. 

Some Twitter users took note of the attackers’ identity as tagged by Google.

“Yari, identified as government back attackers. HULI!!!!!” someone commented.

“Dami naman time ng mga bayad, tulong na lang kayo sa COVID response kaya kesa kung anu-anong pinapasok niyong account,” another online user wrote.

“The government has all the info and data and access to it. This shows they are threatened. I don’t believe this at first, but it seems apparent that they have to destroy the leading opposition force which is no other than, VP Leni!” a different Twitter user claimed.

Another Filipino tagged some senators in a quote tweet and urged them to investigate similar hacking incidents.

“Wala ng kaila na may troll ang gobyernong ito. Baka naman pwede nyo ring isama sa imbestigasyon sa senado ito
@sotto_tito @DickGordonDG @risahontiveros @kikopangilinan @BigManDrilon,” he wrote.

Months ago, alternative media outlets AlterMidya and Bulatlat reported experiencing cyberattacks on their websites which were traced to the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Army.

DOST denied its involvement and said that they allow some of their IP addresses to be used by other government agencies.

The media organizations in response urged the agency to conduct its own investigation on the use of its IP address.

Last year, some ABS-CBN employees received notifications alerting them that “government-backed attackers” might be attempting to compromise their Gmail accounts.

It happened months before the House of Representatives have denied the broadcasting giant a franchise renewal.

In 2017, it was revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte‘s camp has spent “around P10,000 million” to hire trolls meant to spread propaganda and target his opposition.

Ronwald Munsayac of the PDP-Laban’s Public Information Committee said that their party has “never” hired or used online trolls.