Lawmakers Push Investigation into Bank Security Breach

MANY lawmakers have called for an investigation into the digital hacking of bank accounts that led to unauthorized online transfers.

Several Banco de Oro customers reported over the weekend that they lost considerable sums after their accounts were hacked.

Albay Representative Jose Ma. Clemente “Joey” Salceda said the House of Representatives must review the ability of law enforcement agencies “to apprehend, detect, investigate and prosecute financial cybercrimes” and security measures taken by banks in digital banking.

On Monday, Salceda tabled two resolutions regarding the reported hacking of bank accounts.

Resolution 2406 urges the House Committee on Public Accounts and the House Committee on Public Order and Security “to conduct hearings, in support of the legislation, on the capacity of law enforcement agencies. law enforcement to apprehend, detect, investigate and prosecute financial cybercrimes ”.

Resolution 2407 calls on the House Committee on Banking and Financial Intermediaries to examine “the security and safety measures and user protection mechanisms implemented by banks and providers of electronic payment solutions to protect their customers. customers against fraud ”.

The “Cybercrime Prevention Act” (Republic Act 10175) sanctions computer fraud.

Bayan Muna lawmakers have filed a separate resolution to investigate unauthorized online transfers from Banco de Oro (BDO) accounts to the UnionBank account of a “Mark Nagoyo”.

Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat on Monday filed HR 2405, which also asks the Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries to investigate reported fraudulent online bank withdrawals.

Zarate said the victims must be compensated as soon as possible.

“I think it is not enough that there is insurance specifically from the banking sector or BDO at ibalik to reimburse ang nawalan ng pera (return and reimburse lost money), with a caveat na pag napatunayan na walang kasalanan ang depositors. Padadaanan pa Sa butas ng karayom, eh malinaw ang system nila ang na-compromise (with the caveat that depositors must prove that they have done nothing wrong. Even if it is evident that their system has been hacked, depositors will be asked to go through the eye of the needle), ”he said.

Senate candidate Neri Colmenares said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) should investigate the incident to make sure depositors’ hard-earned money is safe.

“The governor of the BSP, Benjamin Diokno, should request an audit of the systems used by the country’s banks and establish a benchmark in terms of security. As the main regulator, BSP must challenge financial institutions that fail to meet safety standards that put our people’s money at risk, ”Colmenares said.

The incident prompted Senator Emmanuel Joel Villanueva to call on banks to step up cybersecurity measures to thwart digital pickpockets attacking workers’ e-wallets and bank accounts.

“If ordinary employees protect their hard-earned money from pickpockets, banks should also make sure that cybercriminals don’t choose the digital wallets of those who gave them their pay for custody,” said Villanueva, chairman of the senatorial labor committee.

He called on government authorities to treat BDO’s security breach “as if it were a serious cyberattack against our country.”

“It goes beyond a single company. National reputation is at stake. The Philippines cannot be said to have a porous banking system because such a weakness will only encourage cybercriminals to attack us,” said Villanueva.

He added that a quick fix is ​​needed “because we cannot be seen as a prime destination for cybercrime, a haven for hackers.”

Any delay, Villanueva said, will erode public confidence in our banking system, “a relationship based on trust.”

He welcomed BDO’s statement that the interests of hack victims will be protected as “the most reassuring thing and the right thing to do.”