Over the last few years, Philippines has witnessed tremendous increase in Internet usage. Filipinos have taken advantage of the multifarious benefits arising out of the Internet. Internet has contributed to the growth and development of business in the country. The arrival of social media sites such as Facebook has aided in further proliferation of Internet in the Philippines. According to the latest figures by International Telecommunication Union, there are more than 29 million Internet users in Philippines. However, Philippines has also witnessed rise in cybercrime incidents. Criminals are using cyberspace for hacking, unauthorized access, stealing privileged information, e-mail spoofing, infringement of Intellectual property rights, phishing and online gambling among many others. Moreover, many countries are now using cyberspace to demonstrate their hegemony. As such, it is inevitable for nations across the world to strengthen network and . Recently, a bill for Cybercrime Prevention was introduced by Senator Edgardo J. Angara in the Philippines Senate. The bill is awaiting final clearance from Science and Technology Committee and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
The bill aims to punish cybercrime offences such as illegal access to computers, unauthorized interception and disclosure of information, alteration of data and misuse of devices, child pornography and related crimes. Aiding other persons in the conduct of the crime will also be considered as cybercrime offence. Bill once passed as law will have penalties ranging from 1 hundred thousand Pesos to 1 million offences for different forms of cybercrime. Cyber offence committed by a person in authority or corporate body may attract penalties up to 10 million Pesos. Criminals now work as an organized business and cyberspace has provided a comfortable channel to perpetuate crime. Each member of a criminal group is assigned different responsibilities to achieve the targets. Rising instances of cybercrime has increased the demand for across the world.
Cybercriminals exploit the vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. The vulnerabilities may be caused by lack of in-built security in devices, programming errors, errors in software development and other human errors. Often, ethical hacking is used to ascertain security gaps in the IT infrastructure and initiate corrective measures.
Governments worldwide have to play a proactive role to curb the menace of cybercrime to reap the benefits offered by advancements in information technology.