The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that it was punishing BDO Unibank of the Sy family and Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) of the Aboitiz family for the “Mark Nagoyo” mass phishing attack in December 2021.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the sanctions would ensure that both BDO and UBP would swiftly address the glaring breach in their cybersecurity.
However, Diokono was conspicuously silent on the specific sanctions slapped on BDO and UBP.
“The sanctions imposed emphasize the importance of continuously enhancing risk management systems involving cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, and combating terrorism and proliferation financing. The sanctions also reinforce the need for banks to take a proactive stance in ensuring that their depositors are adequately protected,” said Diokno in a statement.
Diokno said the Monetary Board approved the imposition of sanctions on BDO and UBP after the BSP wrapped up its investigation on the hacking scandal where a number of BDO accounts were illegally transferred to UBP accounts, including the “Mark D. Nagoyo” which means swindled in Filipino.
“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,” Diokno said
“The BSP investigation recognized the corrective actions undertaken by both banks related to the cyber incident, including reimbursement by BDO of its affected clients,” it added.
A month after the hacking, the National Bureau of Investigation conducted an entrapment operation in Pampanga which netted two Nigerians – Ifesinachi Fountain Anaekwe and Chukwuemeka Peter Nwadi – and three Filipinos – Jherom Anthony Taupa , Ronelyn Panaligan and Clay S. Revillosa – who were allegedly involved in the Nagoyo scam.
The suspects used a fake website to collect personal details of bank clients which they allegedly used to bypass the one-time-pin request and access the victims’ accounts to make the transfers under the Nagoyo accounts in UBP. The Nigerians were caught peddling a device that could cash out the money from UBP.