News Release

After cyberattacks, Customs system stays strong

The data system of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) stood strong and has not bogged down despite breaching attempts, Customs Assistant Commissioner Philip Maronilla assured on Saturday.

Maronilla told a news forum in Quezon City that they are now working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to come up with stronger cybersecurity measures following a reported data breach incident earlier this month.

“The unit under the DICT in charge of identifying the breach that was conducted is now looking into it; an investigation has already been launched by the Privacy Commission also and the Bureau of Customs to determine that lapses that were encountered (and as to) why this came about,” Maronilla said, adding security measures were implemented to avoid further breach.

Citing DICT’s investigation, Maronilla said they are looking into their Customer Care Portal System (CCPS), which brought continues services during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic for safer and non-face-to-face transactions.

He said the information submitted in the CCPS system might have been compromised by the data breach.

“May database kami doon and during the investigation of DICT, we found out that there was a breach there so there might be information submitted in the CCPS system of the Bureau of Customs that might have been compromised,” Maronilla said.

Maronilla added a larger investigation of the incident revealed the extent of the breach and how it accessed their system.

Maronilla said they have long put a firewall that bars employees to access any entertainment or social media applications while on the premises of the BOC using their system and authorized devices who can access their network.

They also have provided their employees the much needed seminars and technical briefing on how to go about accessing their systems and what passwords, how to generate their passwords, and how to have those passwords secured.

By now, Maronilla said their office is gradually resetting their employees’ access to their system to secure it again.

For the first quarter of 2024, 96.99% or 161 out of the 166 processes of the BOC are now digitalized, making it easy for consumers to acquire its services.

Maronilla said the remaining three percent that are yet to be digitalized are those processes that need inter-linkages with other government agencies, in which majority of it are still waiting for other agencies to upgrade their respective digital systems so that the BOC can integrate. *PND*