Philippine hackers have attacked 200 Chinese websites in what is believed to be a retaliatory act over the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.
The hackers, belonging to the group Anonymous Philippines, attacked Chinese government and private websites by redirecting users to a page that shows China’s flag with the group’s logo in the background, reported Philippine television network ABS-CBN.
Some of the pages showed the statement “China’s alleged claim on maritime territories and oppressive poaching can no longer be tolerated. Stand against oppression! It’s time to fight back. Say no to China’s bullying!”
A list of the hacked websites was also posted on Facebook with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that read, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
The hacked government-owned websites include South China Sea Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yangzhou’s Shugang Eco-City.
The hacked private websites had affected Chinese online retailers, including those from the apparel, computer and toy industry.
The hackers posted on their Facebook page saying that the operation was successful. Anonymous Philippines claimed that although it has not brought China down on its knees, the hacking of government and private websites would give Filipinos hope. The group ended the post saying they are hopeful that people would stand up and fight back someday.
The Philippines is among six nations claiming island chains in the South China Sea. The other countries – Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei – are locked in tense relations with China over the latter’s alleged “unauthorized” maritime expansion in contested territories.
Tension between China and the Philippines reached fever-pitch levels earlier this month when 11 Chinese nationals were arrested in the area after poaching sea turtles in a restricted Philippine territory, prompting Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to say that China infringed on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.