A lawmaker has filed a resolution urging the Senate to look into the alleged breach in the databases of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other government agencies.

Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. filed Senate Resolution No. 573 on Thursday evening following a report released by VPNMentor, a leading cybersecurity research company, stating that 1,279,437 persons in the repository of law enforcement agencies, including sensitive police employee information, have been compromised in an unprecedented data breach.

According to VPNMentor, the voluminous data hack has exposed 817.54 gigabytes of both applicant and employee records under multiple state agencies, including the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF).

“Sobrang nakakabahala ang ulat na ito. Napaka-sensitive ng mga data na involved – mga (This report is very alarming. The data involved are very sensitive like) fingerprint scans, tax identification numbers, birth certificates at ultimo mga kopya ng (and even copies of) passports,” Revilla said in a statement Friday.

“Kung mapunta ito sa kamay ng mga masasamang tao, napakadali na sa kanila na gamitin ito sa panloloko at pag-access ng iba pang records katulad ng sa mga bangko (If these will land in the hands of criminlas, it would be very easy for them to use these in fraud and to access other records like those in banks),” he added.

VPNMentor also bared that the alleged breached documents were stored in a database that was unsecured and non-password protected, making it highly vulnerable to cyberattacks and ransomware.

Revilla said data privacy and protection is a matter of national security and interest, stressing that it is imperative for the Congress to immediately exercise its oversight powers to ensure that existing laws on data privacy are religiously being followed.

“We have existing laws, especially Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012. Dapat nasusunod ito. May batas tayo eh (This should be followed. We have a law),” Revilla noted.

“Apektado talaga ang national security ng ating bansa dito (Our national security is really affected with this). In this age of digitalization and e-governance, mas lalo pa dapat natin paigtingin na ligtas ang mga impormasyon na hawak ng ating gobyerno para hindi makompromiso ang taumbayan (we need to further intensify the security of information held by the government so the people will not be compromised). I therefore call on my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly take action on this matter para hindi na muling mangyari ito (so this will not happen again),” he added.

In November 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported a data leak in its online passport tracking system.

Just last year, the Commission on Elections revealed that around “60 gigabytes worth of sensitive voter information” and other data have been hacked.

Before this, a group of hackers also downloaded the personal data records of some 54 million registered voters. (PNA)

About Post Author

Previous articlePalawan sees record tourist arrivals in Q1 2023
Next articleFire razes 15 homes in Brgy. San Miguel