Cybercrimes on the rise

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Cybercrimes are on the rise and if not curbed immediately, computer-related crimes could turn into a big security risk, authorities warned on Wednesday.

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Roland Aguto, chief of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime division, and Senior Inspector Levy Lozada, chief of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group and Digital Forensic Laboratory, said the number of crimes committed through the Internet has rapidly risen nationwide. The two officials were the main speakers at a forum initiated by the United States Embassy held at Asian Institute of Management in Makati City.

“Based on the people coming to our office on a daily basis, cybercrime has been happening all over the country in an alarming pace already,” Aguto said.

“Cybercrime has been employed in espionage, cyber activist like defacing government Websites, cyber business, and who knows our transportation might be a victim,” Lozada said.

Stephen Cutler, a retired officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who is now with the US Embassy, said cybercrime could be mobilized against the government by destabilizing its security by attacking the water, food, and air through computer-aided programs.

Aguto said the business sector can also be targeted by cyber criminals who can steal identities or bank information. He said cyber pornography remains to be the biggest problem of the country, and he put the blame of the decision of the Supreme Court banning investigators from blocking access to pornography sites.

Aguto said another obstacle in fighting cybercrime is the lack of training of judges and prosecutors on the cybercrime law.

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