NPC to tap white hat hackers to secure ID system

Font Size

On Oct. 13, Facebook filed a notice to the NPC, saying 30 million users were affected in the global breach, including 755,973 Philippine-based accounts. From some of these users, hackers were able to glean timeline posts, friend networks, and even information from recent Messenger conversations.

By Janina C. Lim, Reporter

THE National Privacy Commission (NPC) has tapped white hat hackers to help secure the government’s central database platform on information on all citizens and resident aliens.

In a statement on Friday, NPC Chairman Raymund E. Liboro said at least 30 white hackers were signed up for the “hackBAYAN” project, a two-week study that will serve as a guide for securing the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

The hackers will help PhilSys managers evaluate the risks in running the platform, identify potential problems, and implement appropriate risk reduction and mitigation strategies.

NPC said the specific aim is to secure PhilSys which will be implemented this December.

“We can do a lot more to help protect the data that will come out of PhilSys processing. You can do your part in it as well as ‘hackers ng bayan’ and indeed I strongly urge you to help government make this right. The need for your voice is now more acute. Your country needs you more than ever,” Mr. Liboro said to a crowd of local hackers at the recent RootCon 2018 event, attended by some 300 local “hackers of all colors.”

The official went as far as to invite the private-sector community of hackers to assist the government in its push to enhance data security in the country.

Archieval B. Tolentino, Assistant Department Manager at Land Bank of the Philippines, said the NPC’s call on ‘hack bayani’ can change the negative perception on hackers.

“I like the idea behind ‘hack bayani’ and I think it’s about time that we do it, especially with the NPC leading this era of [privacy] awakening for the people, and especially for hackers. It would lead to a shift in the way people see hackers,” said Mr. Tolentino, also one of the founders of the Information Security Officers Group.