Globe exec: No data breach in our system

A TELECOMMUNICATIONS company has assured the public that there is no data breach within its system amid the rising cases of cybercrimes and online and text scams.

Rofil Sheldon Magto, corporate communications manager of Globe for the Visayas and Mindanao, said the company spent more than US$20 million or roughly P1.1 billion to wrap up its information security platforms.

These include detecting and blocking scams and spam messages of international and domestic sources, including app-to-person and person-to-person SMS.

Magto said Globe stepped up its cybersecurity efforts in 2014 by building its capabilities to prevent attacks and threats to its infrastructure and protect its customers.

Magto said that from January to the end of July this year, Globe has blocked around 784 million scam and spam messages in its system through its intensified filtering efforts.

Within the same period, Globe also deactivated 14,058 scam-linked mobile numbers and blacklisted 8,973 more.

To fight the problem, GCash rejects or proactively bars accounts detected to be used for mule activity. It has blocked 780,000 accounts due to identity fraud including money mule issues since January this year.

Magto said they had deployed 100 personnel in their Security Operations Center to monitor all fraudulent acts of scams 24/7. He noted that most of the malicious messages and culprits of identity theft come from prepaid SIMs.

Magto also expressed concern that scammers are even taking advantage of less fortunate individuals and luring them with money through their fraudulent activities.

"There are also groups of people who go to impoverished areas and take advantage of the plight of our fellowmen," said Magto.

"So, they buy information and ask them to register. If they go through the proper registration process and their accounts are considered valid, biglang iba na yung naghahawak ng account nila nuh (suddenly, someone else is handling their account)," Magto added.

Magto encouraged the public to disregard malicious text and online messages and not be enticed, especially by those offering ways to get extra income or easy money.

He asked people to block and report it to their emergency hotline and Stop Spam web portal.

Earlier, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said fraudsters had recently used popular e-wallets and other online messaging platforms, including Globe's GCash, to get the names of subscribers in their latest scams.

Magto said that on their end, GCash was able to block 900,000 fraudulent accounts from January 2021 to March 2022 and help in arresting the scammers.

Magto added that Globe has partnered with banks and online retailers for threat intelligence and data sharing to boost multi-industry shared efforts against cybercriminals.

He said they have also closely worked with their government partners, such as the NBI and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and sent timely reports to address the matter.

Magto said Globe also supports the mandatory registration of all postpaid and prepaid mobile phone subscriber identity module (SIM), which was recently approved for its final reading at the Senate.