Hackers behind illegal bank transfers accused of economic sabotage – lawmaker


MANILA, Philippines – Cybercriminals involved in hacking BDO Unibank deposit accounts face charges of economic sabotage, according to Anakalusugan representative Michael Defensor.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Defensor said Republic Law 11449, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019, increased penalties for the illegal use of electronic access devices, such as cards, codes , personal identification numbers, usernames and passwords, among others.

Life imprisonment

“Breaking into a bank’s computer system and stealing money from over 50 deposit accounts is economic sabotage,” he said.

Under the law, the offense is punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of up to 5 million pesos, he added.

Last week, hundreds of BDO depositors reported unauthorized transfers of funds from their accounts to fictitious Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank) accounts.

Unionbank said earlier that it had already identified six “people of interest” and froze funds worth 5 million pesos.

In the wake of the BDO cyber fraud, Defensor said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas should require banks to regularly put themselves on high alert against potential cybercrime activity on weekends and holidays.

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