• Banking system vulnerable to hack attacks – Recto

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    THE threat of cyber attacks on the Philippine banking system is serious and unless the government does something to protect it, there is no stopping hackers penetrating the system just like what happened to a Bangladesh bank, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto warned Sunday.

    Recto said Congress already introduced a measure that aims to help protect the country’s banking system and it is now up to Malacañang to enact it. He was referring to the recently-approved bill creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which will be responsible for the formulation of a National Cybersecurity Plan and form the National Computer Emergency Response Team.

    Section 15 of the proposed law states: “All powers and functions related to cybersecurity including but not limited to the formulation of the National Cybersecurity Plan, establishment of the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the facilitation of international cooperation on intelligence regarding cybersecurity matters are transferred to the Department.”

    “The threat of cyber-attack on our banking system is real. The hack-attack on Bangladesh Bank brings the threat closer to home, stressing the need for us to put up counter-measures against cyber-criminals the soonest time possible,” Recto said, referring to reports that hackers stole $80 million from the Bangladesh Bank, using stolen credentials to make online transfers.

    Recto said any delay in the signing of the proposed DITC law could put the Philippine banking system at serious risk.

    “Countries we are not so friendly with may target us and criminals will always want to hack their way to our financial system,” the senator added.

    The Senate and the House of Representatives passed their respective versions of the DICT bills last year.

    JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA

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