ON JULY 27, 2010, The Daily Tribune, [http://www.tribuneonline.org/], the online version of the feisty and defiant daily English-language Philippine publication, was cracked (hacked), with the website not showing and the page going instead to an apparently malware-infested site, electnate.com [Warning:still malware-infected]. That was coincidentally also the same day Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) and when the Office of the President's website, http://www.op.gov.ph/, reopened and first showed content with him as the new "President."
The development elicited pronounced concern from Daily Tribune's readers, mostly non-yellow-media patriots who consider it just about the only consistent voice of truth against electoral fraud, power grab, manipulated surveys, wanton corruption, and treacherous, shady deals with foreign entities. Not unexpectedly, alarm bells were sounded by the periodical's patrons at the social site, Facebook.
The publication has a history of going against the mainstream media's apologist stance for the seditious yellow forces that seized power from President Joseph Estrada in 2001. In 2006, the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered a police raid of the premises of the Daily Tribune following a declaration of the state of emergency.
Both my browser and my anti-virus alerted me but I insisted on going to the hacked page, that seemed forwarded to electnate.com, because I simply needed to access Tribune for my TAGA-ILOG News blog. Because I persisted, my said blog, and, briefly, my three other blogs, got infected as well.
Trying to do some cyber sleuthing, I checked on the malware diagnostics for electnate.com and found that it first hosted malware on or before July 17, 2010--with the description that the infection led to the unauthorized downloading of a "Malicious software [which] includes 252 trojan(s)."
As of early the week of this month, electnate.com was still listed as suspicious by Google, with malicious software now numbering "276 trojan(s)"! The trojans are apparently coming from the unauthorized malicious software installed by some malicious crackers.
The timing of the malware attack is highly suspicious, alright. How coincidental is it that the most fearless, most un-yellow and most-critical-of-Aquino news publication was disabled by cracking on the day the new "President" was scheduled to deliver his very first SONA and when the Office of the President's (OP), http://www.op.gov.ph/, was finally able to began hosting contents for the new administration?
The cyber attack simply seems too perfectly timed, enough to conveniently stifle the periodical's hallmark critical voice during an important day for Aquino III. After all, the broadsheet publication has been consistent, if not persistent, in attacking as failed and fraudulent the recent elections that the proclaimed "President" supposedly won.
The Daily Tribune's bold commentaries scream of "Poll fraud;"' "Deliberate fraud?;" "Failure of automation;" "Hocus-PCOS info war;" "All signs point to massive electronic fraud;" and "Stealing the vote." It has also been critical of yellow politics in general, with titles that say it all: "Yellow politics of coercion;" "Yellow arrogance: Erap's redemption;" and "Yellow: The color of hypocrisy."
The "Without fear or favor" publication also does not fail to remind about the unconstitutional 2001 power grab, talking of the need for "EDSA 2 rectification in order" even during the 2010 campaign period. Consistent with its candid brand of truthful journalism, it has articulated criticisms of Aquino III's ability to lead the nation, with bluntly honest opinion pieces that reads: "Clueless by the Pasig;" and "From the mouth of an arrogant ignoramus." It was even one of the first broadsheets to touch on what has long been talked about but kept from the public by the yellow media--the issue of Aquino III's supposed autism in the February 2010 opinion piece, ‘Those whom the gods wish to destroy... they first make mad’.
Coincidence, along with possible motive, of course, won't nail a crime, so to speak. The disabling of the Daily Tribune website seems a cracking job, although the malware infection is not an uncommon thing in the Internet. But what about when the same publication is simultaneously a victim of another, a different kind of cyber attack?
Clone Daily Tribune
The case of the hacking/cracking of the Daily Tribune's website seems much more than malware infection because the contents of the site are now actually hosted in another site other than the official one--in a very spurious-sounding domain of hackingidentity.com.
A check on the domain registration of the two websites shows entirely different registration information, one being legitimate sounding and the other fishy. The registering entity for www.tribuneonine.org is based in the Philippines, complete with contact numbers and building address.
On the other hand, data for the other Tribune-content-hosting www.hacking.identity reveals a United States-based registrant, with the addresses for the administrative and technical contacts being found in two different states. Why would a Philippine news entity whose print office is located in the country have a foreigner as domain registrant?
Click for IMAGE: Domain registration of Tribune clone, www.hackingidentity.com
It seems apparent that www.hackingidentity.com is a spurious clone of the Daily Tribune.
All these point to the website having been hacked big time. The "Without fear or favor" news site was unavailable beginning around mid-day of July 26, 2010-- in time for "President" Aquino III's first SONA and the day the his OP website was first made available. The Daily Tribune's readers were redirected to a malware-infested site for at least a day or two. As well, at around that time, the hacking-sounding site that cloned the Daily Tribune, www.hackingidentity.com, began appearing in the Web.
Roy writes on July 29, 2010:
When it came to media matters, the President told me he had decided not to read the Daily Tribune anymore, implying he didn’t wish to add to his headaches. This was the opening I was waiting for.
I said: “But you must regard the paper as an institution for good government. Accept it as you would a dependable friend who would never lie to you no matter how hurting the truth. The Daily Tribune is the small David of media that fights — without fear or favor — the Goliaths of corruption, injustice, abuse and deceit.”
He lowered his gaze, his brows furrowed in deep concentration...
So there, no less than the leader of the yellows says he does not like the newspaper and has decided to read it no more. In the light of published admission by the "President" that the same gives him "headaches," along with the suspicious timing of its hacking, is it probable, therefore, that the yellows were behind the rather vicious cyber attack(s)? Well, they do have possible motive, and no question about capability. And the timing? Simply too perfect to be plain coincidental.
It took some time before the communication team of Aquino III was able to put up the Office of the President website. Wonder if they tinkered first with the website of the headache-causing-to-the-"President" Daily Tribune....
Cacho-Olivares, Ninez. "Failure of automation." The Daily Tribune. 8 June 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100608com2.html
The Daily Tribune. WikiPilipinas. http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=The_Daily_Tribune
"Deliberate Fraud?" The Daily Tribune. 30 June 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100630com1.html
Tordesillas, Ellen. Office of the President website is back. 27 July 2010. http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=12157
_______.Office of the President website still has Gloria Arroyo as president. 2 July 2010. http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=11816
________. 5 July 2010. http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=11837
Office of the President launches Official Gazette . 26 July 2010. http://www.coolbuster.net/2010/07/official-gazette.html
Tiu-Laurel, Herman. "Yellow arrogance: Erap's redemption. The Daily Tribune. 30 April 2010. http://taga-ilog-news.blogspot.com/2010/04/yellow-arrogance-eraps-redemption-die.html
"Yellow politics. of coercion. The Daily Tribune. 30 April 2010. http://taga-ilog-news.blogspot.com/2010/04/yellow-politics-of-coercion-editorial.html
"From the mouth of an arrogant ignoramus. The Daily Tribune. 16 January 2010. http://taga-ilog-news.blogspot.com/2010/01/from-mouth-of-arrogant-ignoramus.html
EDSA II rectification in order. The Daily Tribune. 21 Feb. 2010. http://taga-ilog-news.blogspot.com/2010/02/edsa-ii-rectification-in-order.html
Laurel, Herman Tiu. Hocus-PCOS info war. The Daily Tribune. 21 May 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100521com5.html
Stealing the vote. The Daily Tribune. 25 May 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100525com8.html
Cacho-Olivarez, Ninez. Poll fraud. The Daily Tribune. 4 June 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100604com2.html
Laurel, Herman Tiu. Clueless by the Pasig. The Daily Tribune. 14 June 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100614com4.html
Raval, Demaree. ‘Those whom the gods wish to destroy... they first make mad’. The Daily Tribune. 21 February 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100221com3.html
Cacho-Olivares, Ninez. Hocus PCOS. The Daily Tribune. 17 May 2010.
Cacho-Olivares, Ninez. Yellow: The color of hypocrisy. The Daily Tribune. 16 April 2010.
All signs point to massive electronic fraud EDITORIAL. The Daily Tribune. 10 June 2010. http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100610com1.html
Laurel, Herman Tiu. The desert lands of Cory Aquino. The Daily Tribune. 12 April 2010.