National Privacy Commission taps ethical hackers to help secure PhilSys

Image from NPC Twitter account

Commissioner Raymund Liboro of the National Privacy Commission recently revealed the government’s plan to tap the assistance white-hat or ethical hackers to help secure the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

The commission believes that the fastest and safest route to digital transformation would be through an active collaboration between the government and patriotic hackers.

Ethical hackers are people who hack into the system of a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security. Its counterpart is the black hat hackers who spread malicious software or those who have criminal intent.

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

The national ID system will carry a significant amount of data from SSS number to Tax Identification Number. The National ID law is intended to make smooth transactions in different government agencies.

“As the country’s leading experts on the offensive and defensive aspects of data security, you as ‘hackers ng bayan’ or ‘hack-bayani’, are at the center of every data protection effort. It is you who will design and implement the structures that keep our data safe. No longer will you be the unsung heroes keeping our boat afloat. You will be at the vanguard, keeping threats and hazards at bay, so that everyone’s data will remain safely private.”

Around 300 local “hackers of all colors” joined the RootCon 2018 including infosec professionals of the corporate world to members of the so-called “digital underground.” Information Security Officers Group (ISOG) officers Archieval Tolentino and Dan Duplito said the commissioner’s call on “hack bayani” to help the government sends a positive signal to the Filipino hacking and security community.

“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,” Tolentino said.

“Aside from just looking for vulnerabilities in government systems I think ‘hack-bayanis’ may also help by protecting and defending government digital interests, or even retaliate when needed,” Duplito said.