Bangko Sentral warns against identity theft in wake of ‘Comeleak’

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has urged banks and citizens to be wary of potential identity theft in the wake of a security breach on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website last March.
Popularly known as the “Comeleak”, the breach supposedly exposed the private information of some 55 million voters.
While authorities have continued to assure the public that the information cannot be used for polling fraud, it can nevertheless be used for other cybercrimes including identity theft and phishing.
“If the Comelec database that was reportedly leaked is indeed authentic, definitely ang information contained in that database can be a good starting point for identity theft,” BSP Core IT Specialist Group Head Mel Plabasan said.
The supposedly stolen data includes birthdays, addresses, middle names, and other information commonly used by banks and credit card companies to authenticate their customers’ identities.
In response to the leak, the BSP issued a memorandum last Friday, April 22, reminding all financial institutions to strengthen their “know-your-customer” (KYC) practices.
In its memorandum, the BSP said all BSFIs must ask for additional proof to make sure of the identity of new and existing customers.
“Customer identification procedures of BSFIs that rely on static information which may be obtained from the disclosed Comelec records should be supplemented by requests for additional proof or secondary information to establish the true identity of new and existing clients,” BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said.
Under the KYC, banks are mandated by law to take note and verify the identification of their customers.
“Relative to the reported unauthorized disclosure of voters’ registration records of the COMELEC, all BSFIs (BSP-supervised financial institutions) are enjoined to strengthen their KYC practices and exercise extra vigilance against possible misuse of said information for financial transactions,” Espenilla said in the memorandum.
Source:http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/563991/scitech/technology/bangko-sentral-warns-against-identity-theft-in-wake-of-comeleak

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