Data Security

New cybersecurity law against bank, ATMs and credit card hackers; they will now face life imprisonment

These are bad news for cybercrime. Digital forensics specialists report that cybercrimes against banking institutions, such as hacking an online account or cloning credit and debit cards could take those responsible to jail for the rest of their lives, all thanks to a new bill in Philippines.

Last August 28th President Rodrigo Duterte
signed the Law of the Republic No. 11449, which introduces new and more severe
penalties for violations of the Access Device Regulation Act of 1998; the
project was revealed this September 25 morning.

As mentioned, the highest penalties are reserved for crimes related to so-called access device fraud, including theft and forgery of payment cards, possession or development of hardware and software to illicitly access banking information, illegitimate access to bank accounts or ATMs and any hacking activity against a bank or user, are mentioned by digital forensics experts.

On the other hand, the highest penalty is life
imprisonment plus a really high fine, and is reserved for hacking activities
against a full banking system, stealing 50 or more payment cards, and fraud of
access devices against more than 50 bank accounts or payment devices, local
media report.

In the presentation of the new law, the
representative of the government of the Philippines stated, “From now on,
these activities will be regarded as heinous crimes with intent of economic
sabotage, so they will face more severe penalties.”  

Firms specializing in digital forensics detail
some of the new sanctions related to cybercrimes against banks in the

  • Fraudulent
    use of credit cards: Between 4 and 6 years in prison plus a fine double the
    value of the credit obtained fraudulently
  • Possession
    of a counterfeit access device: Between 2 and 20 years in prison, plus a fine
    equivalent to twice the amount operated by the affected accounts
  • Possession
    of 10 or more counterfeit access devices, without checking access to accounts
    or credits: Between 6 and 12 years in prison, plus a fine of at least 300k Philippine
    pesos ($5.7K USD) or double the total amount of committed accounts
  • Full
    hacking of a banking system, theft of at least 50 payment cards or illegal
    access to at least 50 online bank accounts or payment cards: Life sentence plus
    fine of up to 5 million Philippine pesos ($95.5k USD)

Digital forensics specialists at the
International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) believe that, although these
measures are reactive, they are a good start to mitigating the activities of
these hacker groups, which have increased their crimes recently, even going on
to operate internationally. A couple of months ago a jackpotting
campaign was reported at some ATMs in Nepal, perpetrated by Chinese hackers
receiving orders from a group of hackers residing in Spain; Nepalese
authorities managed to arrest some of the members of this operation while
trying to withdraw money from an ATM for the fifth time.

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