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Makabayan bloc urges House inquiry into data breach at gov't agencies

Lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives has asked for a congressional inquiry into the data breach that allegedly affected over 1.2 million records or 817.54 GB of data handled by law enforcement agencies.

France Castro of ACT Teachers party-list, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela party-list and Raoul Manuel of Kabataan party-list made the call under their House Resolution 0931.

Citing a report by cybersecurity researcher Jeremiah Fowler, the House members said the breach involved data handled by the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and its Special Action Force Operations Management Division, and Civil Service Commission (CSC).

The report stated that the data exposed included employee and applicant identification records of law enforcement agencies in the Philippines and additional records related to internal directives addressing law enforcement officers.

The exposed records contain copies of fingerprint scans, signatures, tax identification numbers (TIN), required documents from multiple state agencies, and character recommendations, among others.

"PNP Anti-Cyber Crime Group Director Brig. Gen. Sidney Hernia said they were still conducting an assessment on the incident, [but] this is not the first time that a Philippine government database was breached," the lawmakers said.

"It can be recalled that in March 2016, there was also a massive data breach of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website then dubbed as 'Comeleaks' exposing the personal information of 55 million Filipino voters. It was hacked and defaced by a certain group Anonymous Philippines," they added. —NB, GMA Integrated News