Gabriela wants probe into hacking of online banks funds
MANILA, Philippines — Party-list group Gabriela has vowed to file a resolution before the House of Representatives calling for an investigation on the possible hacking and fraudulent transactions involving financial technology companies like GCash.
In a statement on Wednesday, the party said that they want to know how these online fraud incidents happen and how digital banking firms would address it.
“Gabriela Women’s Party […] will file a resolution to investigate these series of online scams and how digital banking applications are addressing these issues,” the party noted.
The call for an investigation came after Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas asked GCash to maintain high standards of security especially with millions of pesos moving around their system daily.
This was due to several reports of GCash customers losing money on the application, after questionable bank transfers which were supposedly not authorized by the account holders. However, GCash’s management clarified that the P37 million cybertheft attempt was foiled and that money obtained from users would be returned.
“GCash should be held accountable for this possible data breach. This caused a huge inconvenience and compromised the data of millions of users across the country,” Brosas said.
“Under their custody are millions of pesos from its users, therefore, the highest security standards must be intact. Kung ganito lang kadali na makapasok ang mga scammers at hackers, madaling manakaw ang perang pinaghirapan ng mga tao,” she added.
(If it is this easy for scammers and hackers to enter their system, it’s easy to steal the money that people worked hard for.)
But aside from GCash, Brosas also slammed Republic Act No. 11934 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act, saying that it has failed to provide safeguards to the public in such scenarios.
According to Brosas, a long-time critic of the SIM Card Registration Act, there are still a lot of online scamming incidents despite the law being implemented.
“This is proof that the SIM Card Registration Act has provided no safeguards against data hackers. Napakarami pa ring kaso ng online scamming na madalas gumagamit ng GCash at iba pang finance apps,” she noted.
GCash, owned by telecommunications company Globe Telecom Inc., said on Wednesday that they were able to foil attempts by suspected hackers to siphon at least P37 million from users. This was after the company supposedly detected a pattern of relatively small withdrawals from multiple users, which were only sent to only two recipient accounts of another bank late Monday night.
“This was averted by GCash which immediately put a hold order on the transfers once the pattern was detected,” a ranking Globe official who asked to remain anonymous told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“The money is intact, and everything will be returned to our clients,” the official added.