NPC: GCash security breach due to a 'meticulous phishing scheme'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 24) — The National Privacy Commission has concluded its probe into the unauthorized transactions on May 8 involving a number of GCash accounts, and said the security breach was due to "phishing" attacks through online gambling websites.

"Upon our thorough investigation, we have determined that the unauthorized transactions in GCash accounts were a result of a meticulous phishing scheme," said NPC Commissioner John Henry Naga in a statement on Wednesday.

"Unknown threat actors took advantage of vulnerable GCash users, triggering the phishing scheme through online gambling websites," he added.

Last week, GCash released a statement saying its investigation also found that "deliberate phishing attempts" done outside of the app caused the incident.

Over a thousand users were affected and GCash said it quickly corrected their balances.

NPC has ordered G-Xchange Inc., which operates GCash, to step up its awareness and education campaign to prevent similar incidents from happening.

In a separate interview with CNN Philippines on Wednesday, Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) Deputy Executive Director Mary Rose Magsaysay said the public must exercise caution when using online gambling, and must educate themselves to know which ones are not legitimate.

Operators of these sites "tweak it as much as possible and as fast as they can using a veil of anonymity," she told Newsroom Ngayon.

She added that the CICC hopes to publish a list of authorized online gambling sites, but added, for now only the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has a list of legitimate links.