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PNP-NBI data breach exposes over 1.2M records

More than 1.2 million records from law enforcement agencies have been compromised in a massive data breach, according to cybersecurity research firm VPNMentor. 
PNP-NBI data breach exposes over 1.2M records
The PNP and NBI's logo

A massive data breach involving state agencies

The data breach involved about 817.54 gigabytes of personal information of millions of Filipinos from agencies, such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Special Action Force (SAF). 
A sample of Police clearance
A sample of Police clearance

Based on the cybersecurity company’s report, some of the exposed records include fingerprint scans, birth certificates, tax identification numbers, tax filing records, academic transcripts, and passport copies. 

The report also revealed that some internal directives were also made public. 

As an example, these would be orders from the top leadership of how to enforce what laws and what gets priority or additional training that is needed etc… I cannot further confirm or verify the accuracy or authenticity of these documents contained within this database. As such, I cannot guarantee that the contents of the documents are accurate or reliable, cybersecurity researcher Jeremiah Fowler said in the report.

The hacking incident happened as state agencies’ databases were weak, with no password needed to access the data. In Fowler’s own words, they were “readily accessible to individuals with an internet connection.”
A sample of TIN ID
A sample of TIN ID

Fowler said the incident can pose dangers as Filipinos could be victims of identity theft, phishing attacks, and other malicious activities. 

The availability of government records in an unsecured database raises concerns about potential national security issues. The exposed records could also potentially allow criminals to target members of law enforcement for blackmail or other schemes, Fowler added.

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