The ongoing armed territorial dispute over Sabah between Malaysian authorities and the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, has spilled into cyberspace as several websites were defaced over the weekend. At least one Philippine website and several Malaysian websites were hacked into and defaced.
The Philippine site compromised due to the Sabah conflict was the online store of Globe Telecom, which was defaced by hackers claiming to be from the “MALAYSIA Cyb3r 4rmy.” The group left a warning on the site “do not invade our country or you will suffer the consequences.” Globe has assured the public that no sensitive information was stolen and the site was promptly back online.
In an apparent retaliatory move, members of the “Anonymous #Philippine Cyber Army” listed a number of Malaysian websites in a Facebook post that had been hacked into and defaced. The alleged Philippine offshoot of the hacktivist group Anonymous hit several Malaysian sites under the “.my” country-code top-level domain, warning Malaysian hackers to “Stop attacking our cyber space! Or else we will attack your cyber world!”
The three-week standoff between Malaysian authorities and followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III resulted in a bloody shootout between Filipino and Malaysian security forces last Friday. The Malaysian government has chosen an all-out stance against Kiram’s followers, while Philippine President Benigno Aquino III called on those in Sabah to surrender unconditionally.
However, a statement by the hacktivist group Anonymous posted on pastebin, called for both sides to cease the “petty cyber-war” and instead “Let us help both The Philippines and Malaysia unite, not find a reason to fight.”