Saturday, March 23, 2019

Cybercrime threat in Iligan City

(Tuesday, 6th day of November 2018)


Iligan City – A seminar on Cybercrime Security awareness and Survival Techniques in the Digital Age spearheaded by Iligan Information, Communication and Technology Council (ICTC) was conducted on October 31 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall. Attendees from various government agencies were Philippine National Police (PNP), Iligan Internet Café Operators Association (IICOA), Department of Education (DepEd), the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD), and Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The program started with an invocation, singing of Lupang Hinirang, a welcome address by Mr. Felix C. Maminta, President, IICOA and Program Coordinator. And an introduction of participants was delivered by Ms. Marie Zoe H. Castro, head of the ICTC.

A short message by PSSUPT Leony Roy Ga was given in the absence of the city mayor. According to him, there were five (5) operations conducted this year. Six (6) were apprehended, twenty (20) victims rescued and one of the victims was an 8-month old baby.

Resource speaker, Antonio E. Jimeno, Jr., ECE, a director and cybercrime consultant, mentions that cybercrime is a growing concern for Information Security professionals. One cannot overlook the different factors that cybercrime has caused affecting our daily lives, some causes are due to poverty, lack of awareness and abuse of the technology. Cybercrimes are also evolving and is becoming more sophisticated every day. What started out as simple attacks carried out by kids has evolved into complex crimes that involve billions of dollars. Through the internet and technology, everyone can be paid 20 dollars in just five minutes. Out of these, identity theft, forgery and fraud were some of the computer related offenses, he added.

Drilling down to the fundamentals, we’ll start with understanding of the definitions of terms first.

Crime – an act or omission punishable by law. To constitute a crime, there must be a guilty act accompanied by guilty mind.

Criminal Action – is one by which the State prosecutes a person for an act or omission punishable by law.

Cybersex is the willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.

Child pornography is the unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable by Republic Act committed through a computer system: Provided, that the penalty to be imposed shall be, one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775.

From a video presentation of Mr. Felix Maminta, it has shown that recently, Iligan has been one of the most frequent victims of cyber-attacks and has the highest rate of cybercrime cases according to anti-cybercrime group (ACG). Six (6) barangays were affected and identified as cyber sexual areas. In the recent news, nine (9) minors were rescued from a cybersex den with their own parents as operators of the heinous activity in Brgy. Tambacan. The city especially the PNP continues to face the challenge of effectively addressing the problem of illegal cyber activity and cybercrime victimization. Agencies within the city have expressed their concern over the increasing number of cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks in recent years. Some of the content-related offenses are cybersex, child pornography, unsolicited commercial communication, and libel.

As technology diversifies and develops in various industries and sectors in the country exploitation is also expected to increase, due to the lack of necessary equipments by the authorities and in most cases the lack of education and awareness by the public to prevent misuse and abuse of technology.

The seminar aims to promote awareness especially to parents who have daughters. Parents should educate their children on the dangers of the Internet. There are many sexual predators who want to tempt young women into their traps. That is why, cybercrime education, awareness and security to everyone is very essential so that young women and the youth in general are safe in cyberspace.