Señora said millions of pesos are on the line during cybercrime attacks against businessmen. These attacks are usually in the form of e-mail spoofing, fraud or phishing.

E-mail spoofing refers to forgery of a header so as to make an e-mail appear to come from a particular source. Señora said cyber criminals usually spoof e-mails to make it appear to come from a legitimate source.

E-mail fraud or phishing is the practice of acquiring important information, such as usernames and passwords, from Internet users by creating a web site that masquerades as a legitimate one.

A 2014-2015 report by the Department of Justice said cybercrime attacks in 2014 more than doubled, with 614 recorded cases, compared to 288 cases recorded in 2013. It said 22 percent of the recorded cybercrime cases came from Internet fraud, making it the most rampant.

However, the investigative agent said only 2 out of 10 of these cases, especially those concerning local exporters, are solved.

“First of all, jurisdiction is a hindrance. Most of these transactions, since exports, ang ka-transact ninyo ay nasa ibang bansa. Ang pera niyo ay napunta sa ibang bansa. How can we compel foreign banks, if our jurisdiction prevents us so?” Señora said.

“Nobody controls the Internet. That’s the anonymity of the Internet.  It has no jurisdiction; it’s a cyberspace,” Señora added.

He cited the Bank Secrecy Act, which has also been an obstacle to their investigations. The act prohibits banking institutions from disclosing information on deposits made to them.

However, the investigative agent said cybercrime attacks can be prevented. He said the creation of  “super passwords” is one of many security measures businessmen can take.

Señora urged the exporters to deviate from creating passwords that have personal associations to them, such as birthdates or names, and use mnemonics and numbers, instead. He also said the longer the password, the safer it is from being cracked by hackers.

More so, he said businessmen should also start investing in information-technology (IT) security by availing themselves of paid e-mail services, instead of the free ones, and acquiring the best firewall and antivirus software available.

Señora also stressed the creation of IT infrastructure plans, especially for large companies.

“They should have an IT infrastructure  plan. Mayroon dapat kayong guide on how to use your electronic devices sa loob ng offices,” Señora said, adding that, even the use of the smallest devices, such as flash drives, must be monitored.

The forum by the DTI-EMB is part of the Philippine Export Competitiveness Program  2016. The EMB regularly conducts seminars for exporters and aspiring exporters every second and fourth Thursday of the month in its offices on Gil Puyat Ave. in Makati City□.

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