Recto wants to hire ‘bored’ Pinoy hackers to ensure cybersecurity

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Ralph Recto on Sunday called on the executive department to hire “bored” Filipino information technology experts as “cyber-commandos” who will improve and ensure cybersecurity of the government websites.

Recto seeks to hire Filipino IT experts as white hackers or what Techopedia describe as computer security specialists who break into protected systems and networks to test and assess their security with permission from their employers. These hackers expose the vulnerabilities of the website before the malicious hackers or black hat hackers detect them and exploit them.

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The senator, sponsor of the Congress-approved bill on forming the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), issued the appeal after the National Bureau of Investigation arrested the 23-year-old Information Technology fresh graduate, Paul Biteng, responsible for defacing the website of the Commission on Elections. Biteng claimed he hacked the website out of boredom.

“Instead of wasting their talents, these talented Filipino internet experts should be employed by the executive department as white hat hackers to protect us from real cyber-criminals,” Recto said.

“Sayang ang mga kabataang ito kung makukulong lang. Magagamit natin ang kanilang talento sa kabutihan kung mabibigyan sila ng trabaho ng gobyerno bilang mga white hat hackers o cyber-commandos,” he added.

Recto suggested that the government can organize hack fests, a competition to probe government website to determine its weakness. He said the auditing of the security features of government portals may also serve as recruiting fairs for possible government IT workers.

“An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop and idle hands his tool. Let us put the mind and the hands of the Filipino hackers to good use through the DICT,” he said.

Meanwhile, Recto said the DICT law that mandates the formation of a “Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center” will also be ordered to create the National Cybersecurity Plan and form the National Computer Emergency Response Team that will be composed of "IT Special Action Forces or cyber-commandos."

He said the National Cybersecurity Plan should be prioritized since hacking is now considered as a security threat not only in the country but also in the global arena.

Recto stressed the need for DICT citing the commerce online, 70 million social media presence, and vulnerability of hacking financial systems, among others.

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