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Cybercrime center needs P3 billion upgrade – Campos

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THE series of security attacks on government websites has prompted Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. to press for up to P3 billion in additional funding to build up the capabilities of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC).

“We must bolster the CICC with all the necessary cutting-edge technologies to swiftly produce actionable intelligence against all types of threat actors – from thrill seekers and hactivists to cybercriminals and cyberterrorists,” Campos said in a statement on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives website is still down three days after it was illegally accessed and vandalized by a group of hackers calling itself “3MUSKETEERZ.”

Visitors are greeted with a notice that says, “Our website is currently undergoing security updates and maintenance.”

The internet sites of the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. were also previously cyberattacked, causing data breaches and denial of service.

Campos cited the need “to reinforce the CICC with a highly advanced data fusion hub and a round-the-clock security operations center for threat detection, response and prevention.”

“We must also improve the center’s digital forensics and electronic evidence management systems,” Campos said.

All told, the CICC needs a capital outlay of up to P3 billion, according to Campos, vice chairperson of the House committee on appropriations.

The CICC is the inter-agency body created by the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to suppress criminal activities that either target or use a computer, a computer network, or a networked device.

The center integrates the cybercrime-fighting divisions of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, and the Department of Justice.

The CICC has a budget of only P347.7 million in this year’s General Appropriations Law.

In the 2024 National Expenditure Program, the center has only P320.8 million.

The Philippines could be incurring up to $3.5 billion (or nearly P200 billion) in economic losses every year due to cybercrime, according to San Antonio, Texas-based business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Cybercrime costs include stolen money, data damage and destruction, lost productivity, personal and financial data theft, intellectual property theft, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack business disruption, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.|-BNN

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