By: Maila Ager
The Bank of the Philippines Islands’ (BPI) own investigation into the computer glitch it reported last June 7, showed that it was a “human error” and not a case of hacking, an official told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
“Our investigation revealed that ours was a case of human error and a not hacking. We also informed our regulators that there was no breach of data privacy,” BPI President and Chief Executive Officer Cezar Consing said during the hearing of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, joint with the committee on finance.
Last June 7, BPI officials reported an “internal data processing error” that resulted in discrepancies in bank account balances of some of its clients. The BPI however, was quick to rule out hacking as the cause of the glitch.
Consing said the data processing error affected the accounts of 1.5 million of their 8 million bank clients.
“To fix the problem, we had to take down our electronic channels. Basically these are services related to our ATM cards, internet banking, mobile banking. We took them down for a period of 26 hours spread over a period of 37 hours…,” he said.
“We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by this time gap,” the official added.
Ramon Jocson, executive vice president of BPI, then later explained to the Senate committees how the said data processing error was committed by a female “specialist,” who had entered a wrong file in the system.
Jocson said the female specialist was one of the 12 people who are trained in their system.
“Instead of May 26 to May 29 ang na-enter nya sa online system namin was April 27 to May 2. In effect, nag-extract lahat ng transactions April 27 to May 2…” he said.
Asked by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero if the BPI was 100 percent sure that its system was not hacked, Jocson said: “Your honor a hundred percent definite it was not a hack.”
Jocson pointed out that the BPI has a cyber security operations center that tracks 20,000 “events” per second.