President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
July 2017 Issue

Last June 21, in celebration of the Philippine Independence, we had two of the country’s prime-movers of arts and culture. Arch. Paulo Alcazaren shared with us the relevance of national heritage conservation, and Direk Joel Lamangan on the state of the local film industry and how it is developing as an art. Our June GMM was a diversion from our usual topics.

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THE RISING THREAT OF CYBER-CRIMINALITY
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Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
July 18, 2017

THE RISING THREAT OF CYBER-CRIMINALITY

Business Option is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Tuesday & Thursday in Manila Bulletin, business section.

Even newly-installed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. has pointed at cyber-criminality as one of the major concerns of his new administration. The US$81-M hacking of the Bangladesh sovereign account and the money laundering that ensued here is still -fresh in every one's mind. The recent glitches in the Bank of the Philippine Islands system and the Banco de Oro ATM portfolio, although monetarily harmless to clients are clear signs the banking scene has been altered by technology,.

The United States,meantime, is still hearing out the intervention of Russian hackers into its 2016 national elections and last year ,as well, 500 million Yahoo users accounts were penetrated. The latest statistics show that there are 56 million Internet users in the Philippines-close to one-half of its total population. The country is also one of the most prolific users of the Net in Asia and No 15th worldwide.

The Dot.com era has opened a new revolution in IT (Information Technology) that has positively changed the productivity of individuals and corporations. There has been a tremendous increase in the speed of getting information and in communication; we can store our data electronically, protect our valued hard-copy information from prying eyes and can freely access the almost limitless information highway. At times, we don't have to go to the office and just work at home with just the same output and efficiency-saving one the time, money and effort.

But as the Chinese would say, there is a yin to every yang.

And the yang to this astounding phenomenon in IT is sometimes the loss of some of our privacy and the birth of new cyber-criminals and hackers. Listed by the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) as the top Philippine cybercrime types are: online scam, online libel, online threat, identity theft and photo and video voyeurism. Some 555 complaints of online scams have been reported between 2016 and today. These usually involve selling goods and services (non-existent or of poor value) online with payment directed to certain specific bank account numbers. Or a promise of a winning fund but the "winner "is supposed to claim such only by advancing some amount of cash, first.

Now for cyber threats. News, there has been about the "gun for hire" method. The criminal contacts the victim saying he was paid to assassinate the latter -but had a change of heart and would then like to get cash for the remorse. He would sound credible as the assassin had piled enough truthful information extracted stealthily through the Net. Online libel , on the other hand,delves on personal and political attacks that gravely offend the targeted person before a very wide social media audience. Many times, the attacks are done through Facebook and Twitter.

Although online electronic evidence is admissible in court, there has been little success on the prosecution of cyber criminals, thus far, with only 150 men arrested -only 5% of the cases (1,211) filed having reached the prosecutor's office. One of the main drawbacks in the prosecution is that the cybercriminals would usually use pre-paid loads to escape detection. Another is the criminals use fictitious names as email addresses.

There were 197 identity theft complaints filed with authorities recently. It behooves all of us, therefore, to be careful in sharing personal information on social media (addresses, bank accounts, credit cards, and place of employment etc) as some unscrupulous individuals would use them against the owners.

On TV, we have heard of many individuals having to pay for credit card usage for items they never purchased, for instance. Once they access your vital personal information, the crooks can " illegally open credit card accounts, apply for jobs, file fraudulent and false tax returns or even get a medical procedure that the real owner would eventually pay for.So on and so forth", according to the International Data Corporation. Recently, hackers pried open the COMELEC database involving the 55 million registered voters in the country with all their personal data and posted them in a corrupted website called "Philippines, we have your data". Just by punching in the first name and surname, anyone can access vital information about the voter-person.

Finally, there have been 202 reported cases from 2016 to today regarding the photo and video voyeurism which have created untold misery to and sometimes bilk blackmail money from victims. A fair warning to all, therefore, is to be very stingy in letting out personal information that can perhaps be utilized against you by very jaded monsters with utterly criminal minds in the social network.

Once one becomes a victim, one can use the following to report one's predicament: Email: pnp This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , hotlines: 7230401 local 5313 and the website: www.pnpacg. .ph. But as the sages would say, an ounce of prevention is -always- still worth more than a pound of cure.

(Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial consultant, book author and media practitioner. A Life Member , he is the Chair of both the Professional Development and Broadcast Media committees of Finex. His views here, however, are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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