Cybercrimes against banks rampant during early days of quarantine: BSP

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Online crimes and threats were prevalent during the earlier days of the community quarantine but these were sufficiently addressed by local banks and other financial institutions, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

In a virtual briefing Thursday, Nov. 5, BSP governor Benjamin Diokno said cybercrimes like phishing and sending out malicious e-mails and links to malicious websites “with the spin on coronavirus disease” increased significantly during the said period.

Diokno said banks were able to address these by launching targeted cybersecurity awareness campaigns to combat phishing and social engineering attacks.

He said banks also fortified their surveillance monitoring by implementing tighter network controls like stringent firewall settings, end-point protection, and white-listing of websites or applications.

“Towards the end of the lockdown, phishing and malicious website (had) already tapered off, indicating effective countermeasures of the BSP-supervised institutions,” he said.

Phishing is done by getting an individual’s personal details, account numbers, and personal identification number (PIN), among others, through e-mail and other electronic tricks.

However, Diokno said criminals continue to attack the cybersecurity defenses and controls of banks and financial institutions.

“BSFIs (BSP-supervised institutions) should therefore continue to closely monitor and anticipate these changing attack tactics through defense in depth strategies and effective cyber response mechanisms,” he added. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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