Solicitor General Jose Calida has vowed to run after those who illegally accessed online confidential files of his office.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) pointed this out after being informed by London-based cyber security firm TurgenSec about an online data breach at the agency.
“In upholding its role as the principal law officer and legal defender of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, the country can rest assures that these crimes against data privacy committed upon the State and its clients shall not go unpunished, and that the perpetrators thereof shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the OSG said in a statement.
TurgenSec said it informed the OSG and the Philippine government about the data breach last March and, though no replies were made, “the breach was closed by the 28th of April, presumably using information provided by TurgenSec.”
The firm said the breach was ”accessed and downloaded by an unknown third party that is not TurgenSec.”
“This breach contained hundreds of thousands of files ranging from documents generated in the day to day running of ‘The Solicitor General of the Philippines’, to staff training documents, internal passwords and policies, staffing payment information, information on financial processes, and activities including audits, and several hundred files titled with presumably sensitive keywords such as ‘Private, Confidential, Witness and Password’,” it noted.
TurgenSec expressed concern over the leak of the documents since “it may have the potential to disrupt/undermine on-going judicial proceedings.”
“TurgenSec was unable to confirm whether anyone else had accessed or downloaded the supposedly leaked data,” the OSG said.
“While the OSG notes the responsible disclosure procedure of TurgenSec, the OSG must still be wary of unverified reports sent to its office and shall respond appropriately only after a proper verification has been undertaken as to the accuracy and veracity of these alleged data breaches,” it added.
Despite this, the OSG said “all necessary steps have been put in place in order the protect the confidential and sensitive information contained in its submissions before the courts of justice.”