Task force on cybersecurity sought after fraud affects BDO depositors


Posted at Dec 13 2021 01:59 PM

MANILA - Sen. Joel Villanueva on Monday urged the government to create an inter-agency task force to investigate a breach in one bank and propose measures to prevent it from happening anywhere else.

In a statement, the senator asked authorities to treat it "as if it were a cyber attack on our country of the grave kind." He wants a task force "that will immediately get to the bottom of this and institute measures that will prevent it from happening again." 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the National Privacy Commission, the National Bureau of Investigation, among others, can be among the agencies in the task force, he said.

Over the weekend, several complaints were posted on social media about bank accounts allegedly being hacked. 

BDO, the country's largest bank, on Sunday said it was aware of the fraud technique that affected its clients and that it was taking "additional security controls to block further attempts and continue to protect bank credentials." The company also said it would also reimburse the losses of its affected clients.

Bangko Sentral said it is working with BDO and Union Bank of the Philippines, whose handful of clients reportedly received funds.

Villanueva said the issue "goes beyond one company" and the Philippines' reputation is at stake here as he urged swift action from authorities.

"The Philippines cannot be seen as having a porous banking system because such weakness will only entice cyber criminals to attack us," he said.

"Solving this crime early—perpetrators identified, and the modus explained —should signal to our people the comforting assurance that their hard-earned money is safe with banks," he added.

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