3,000 'high level' cyberattacks in PH from 2020 to 2022: DICT

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2023 02:56 PM

MANILA — At least 3,000 "high level" cyberattacks were recorded in the Philippines from 2020 to 2022, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said on Wednesday. 

Almost half of the total attacked were systems and networks of government agencies and emergency response teams, DICT Asec. Jeffrey Ian Dy said during the DICT's "Hack for Gov" competition for college students.

For the same period, DICT has monitored some 54,000 cyber threats, data showed. 

Since January this year, 5 government agencies have been attacked, the DICT said. 

“From the periods of 2020 to 2022, we recorded more than 3,000 incidents. These are high levels of attacks... The national computer emergency response team is on the top of the situation, and we’re trying to do our best to mitigate and to remediate these attacks,” Dy said. 

Dy said the agency is pushing for the passage of a measure for the mandatory reporting of hacking incidents.

"Ang kinakatakot namin dito is that these are all passive data. Passive, meaning we’re waiting for reports. Unfortunately, wala pa tayong batas that mandates the mandatory reporting or disclosure of information whenever there is hacking. We’re also trying to lobby for this particular law, Cybersecurity Act to be passed in Congress,” he said.

The country also needs more cybersecurity professionals, Dy said, adding that there are only 300 certified information security systems professionals here. 

Some professionals also prefer private companies and opportunities overseas due to higher compensation, he said.

“There is asymmetry when it comes to salary, that’s one. Mas mataas ang pasweldo sa private sector. Pangalawa, I think there’s a misalignment of incentives. Hindi naman kinakailangan salary. We’re trying to work on that. That’s why the National Cybersecurity Strategy for 2028 will try to address that. We can incentivize people to work in the government, especially cybersecurity personnel,” he said. 

Among the measures eyed is the NSTP scholarships for cybersecurity professionals, Dy said.

Despite the limited professional network in the country, Dy said 95 percent of recorded attacks in the country in 2022 have been "remediated."

"When I say remediated, it could be the attack was successful, but we were able to inform the government agency, for them to do something about it,” he said.

The Philippines ranked 4th in Kaspersky's 2021 study that examined global cybersecurity and digital privacy companies that are targeted by hackers.


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