BSP sanctions BDO, UnionBank over December hacking incident

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 28) — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday announced it will sanction BDO Unibank and the Union Bank of the Philippines over the hundreds of unauthorized bank transfers last December.

The BSP said its monetary board arrived at the decision following the conclusion of its investigation into the hacking incident.

CNN Philippines is trying to get more details, as the central bank did not specify the penalty. It only said the sanctions reinforce the need for banks to ensure their clients are adequately protected.

“This incident is a reminder that we should continue to enhance our defenses against cyberthreat actors to protect the integrity of the financial system and the interests of depositors,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

In a statement, BDO said it will work with the BSP “to ensure a more secure banking environment.”

In December 2021, over 700 customers of BDO, the country's biggest bank, fell victim to a heist perpetrated by an unidentified group of hackers. Many of the victims said unauthorized bank transfers were directed to different UnionBank accounts under a certain “Mark Nagoyo.”

The BSP, however, said it recognizes the corrective steps undertaken by both banks, including BDO’s reimbursement of its affected clients.

Last January, five people suspected to be behind the scam were arrested, including three Filipinos and two Nigerians.