Around 200 Chinese government websites have been attacked by cyber hacking group Anonymous.
The Philippine branch of the online outfit defaced the government sites on May 18, replacing the front pages with an image of the Anonymous logo and a brief call to action message.
The group subsequently posted a list of the attacked websites on their Facebook page, along with a message to "stop China's bullying".
"China's alleged claim on maritime territories and oppressive poaching can no longer be tolerated," the Anonymous post read.
This attack is a clear example of hacktivism – cyber attacks being carried out not for financial gain, but in protest of political events in the real world.
In this case, the attacks are in response to recent territorial tensions in the South China Sea between China, the Philippines and Vietnam.
A standoff between naval vessels of China and Manila is currently underway, in dispute of China's poaching of endangered species in areas near the Philippine coastline.
As governments are most commonly threatened by hacktivists, preventative ethical hacking should be carried out to test possible avenues of attack. Early identification and the implementation of adequate security can stop breaches from occurring.