The Philippine Statistics Authority said it has launched an investigation into an alleged data leak and is assessing what personal data may have been compromised.
(Bloomberg) — The Philippine Statistics Authority said it has launched an investigation into an alleged data leak and is assessing what personal data may have been compromised.
An initial review showed that the breach may be limited to its community-based monitoring system, which collects and processes data for local government planning, according to the agency in charge of collating major statistics including key economic indicators. The national identification system and the civil registration system have not been affected, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The agency is taking additional preventive and containment measures to ensure the security and integrity of all systems and databases that it manages, including shutting down and isolating the system known to have been affected,” National Statistician Dennis Mapa said.
The incident comes on the heels of last month’s ransomware attack at the country’s state-run health insurer, which highlighted the Southeast Asian nation’s vulnerability to cybersecurity threats.
Hacked Philippine Health Insurer Didn’t Have Protection Software
The statistics office said it immediately activated its data breach response team and launched the probe following a social media post on Oct. 7 about “an alleged data leak involving a system” that it manages. It said it’s working with law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators of the breach.
The agency warned the public against clicking links on social media posts with the “alleged sample data” which may “contain malware that may be used by cybercriminals and bad actors to perpetuate other illicit acts.”
Separately, the Philippines’ privacy watchdog warned banks of financial fraud and money laundering risks following the hacking of the state health insurer’s computers.
The National Privacy Commission, in a statement, flagged an “urgent concern posed by the potential proliferation of counterfeit” Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s identification cards which may be used for illegal activities including medical fraud and identity theft.
–With assistance from Cliff Venzon.
(Updates with details throughout.)
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