Strong CICC action vs bank phishers, hackers sought

January 26, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 208 views

CONGRESS is counting on the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) “to take strong action against the mounting cases of fraudulent bank transactions perpetrated by phishers as well as hackers,” Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said on Wednesday.

“We gave the CICC a total of P365.4 million in new appropriations this year, including P63.5 million for capital outlay, precisely so that it can start operating effectively,” Defensor said.

The CICC’s budget this year is 31 times the measly P11.7 million it received in 2021, according to Defensor.

Defensor’s remarks came after several public school teachers lost between P26,000 to P121,000 each after they were victimized by phishers.

The phishers tricked the teachers into revealing confidential details, and then illegally accessed and took money out of their payroll accounts with the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines.

The CICC is an inter-agency body created by the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to protect the integrity of the country’s computer and communications network and crack down on all forms of misuse, abuse and illegal access.

The center is comprised of the Secretary of Information and Communications Technology, the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, the Chief of the Philippine National Police, the Director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime, and a representative from the private sector/academe.

“We expect the CICC to expedite the identification, capture and prosecution of phishers, hackers and other cybercriminals,” Defensor said.

“Phishing and hacking are law enforcement problems that can only be curbed once the culprits are apprehended and put behind bars,” Defensor said.

Two months ago, the National Privacy Commission warned that a global crime syndicate was likely behind a barrage of phishing attacks in the Philippines, mainly through mobile phone text messaging.

Phishers are “social engineers” who pretend to be trusted individuals, such as bank officers, and steal sensitive data, such as usernames, passwords, and personal identification numbers or PINs.

They conduct their scam via fraudulent electronic mail, text messages, and/or voice calls.

Phishers differ from hackers in that the latter use their computer technical skills to break into private networks, such as bank systems, in order to steal money and/or data.