The Department of Health (DOH) has yet to determine the extent of the possible breach into the country’s COVID-19 vaccination data after the World Health Organization’s (WHO) database was hacked, Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said Tuesday.
In an ambush interview, Herbosa confirmed receiving reports that the COVID-19 vaccination data from the Philippines’ house with the WHO has been “compromised and breached.”
“In response, the DOH is currently in close coordination with the WHO and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to ascertain the veracity of this report, as well as to determine the extent of any possible data breaches, and the appropriate interventions, should there be any,” he said.
The Health chief said that the DOH will be providing public additional information once available.
Health Secretary Ted Herbosa says that the DOH is now in close coordination with the WHO and the DICT following the reported hacking in WHO’s database which compromised the country’s COVID-19 vaccination data. @gmanews @gmanewsbreaking pic.twitter.com/WsauOdMAlu— Giselle Ombay (@giselleombay_) November 14, 2023
DICT spokesperson Aboy Paraiso earlier announced that monitoring of the agency’s computer emergency response team confirmed the COVID-19 vaccination database of the WHO for the Philippines and India was compromised.
At risk are sensitive personal information of people who signed up for the COVID-19 vaccination program including their full names, addresses, birthdays, mobile numbers, email addresses, blood types, and medical histories.
Security analyst Karla Cruz, meanwhile, said around 180 million data sets were hacked and released to the dark web. She also warned this poses a danger to the public.
Herbosa, however, pointed out that “mechanisms are in place to ensure the confidentiality of [the public’s] data.”
“In the meantime, the DOH assures the public that the mechanisms are in place to ensure that the confidentiality of data and it has taken steps to further reinforce the security of data systems managed by the DOH through our Knowledge Management and Information Technology services,” he said.
He also called on Filipinos to remain vigilant and take steps to secure their personal and private information through their own efforts amid recent hacking incidents.
“Think before you click,” he reminded. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News