Gatchalian wants probe into PSA data breach: It’s ‘deeply alarming’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday called for a thorough investigation into the latest data breach in a system under Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Gatchalian said the incident “is deeply alarming.”
“Nakakabahala na hindi pa nga nareresolba ang hacking na nangyari sa Philhealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.), isa na namang ahensya ng gobyerno ang nakompromiso sa online security,” he said in a statement.
(It’s alarming that even before the hacking involving Philhealth has been resolved, another government agency’s online security has been compromised.)
“Nagpapakita lamang ito na hindi matatag ang imprastraktura sa bansa para labanan ang banta sa cybersecurity,” he added.
(“This just shows that the country’s infrastructure is not strong enough to combat the threat to cybersecurity.)
A “ransomware” attack hit the website and online application of PhilHealth on September 22.
Acting on an alleged data leak on one of its systems, PSA disclosed Wednesday that the breach allegedly affected its Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS).
But Gatchalian said, “This is crucial, as the CBMS contains essential personal information necessary for assessing poverty down to the barangay level.”
He then prodded Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Privacy Commission (NPC) to immediately identify those behind the CBMS hacking.
“The DICT and NPC should undertake the necessary steps to ensure that the data breach will not compromise the safety and security of those covered by the CBMS,” said the senator.
Gatchalian also believes this incident “highlights the pressing need for the DICT to have access to confidential funds.”
Two of his colleagues in Senate — Majority Leader Joel Villanueva and Senator JV Ejercito — are already pushing for the retention of the proposed P300 million confidential fund of DICT for 2024.
The secret fund was earlier deleted in the House of Representatives.