PhilHealth requests for task force to probe cyberattack

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has requested for a joint task force to look into the recent cybersecurity attack which affected most of its online services. In a media briefing on Monday, PhilHealth officials said the task force would be composed of the Philippine National Police, National Privacy Commission, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). "This is not merely a concern of PhilHealth, this is a nationwide concern, and, for this reason, we requested a joint task force to look into this problem," PhilHealth chief operating officer Eli Dino Santos said. He added the group will also procure more cyber and infra security systems to intensify the agency's protection against future cybersecurity attacks. Last month, PhilHealth's database was hacked through the Medusa ransomware which infected 72 workstations and the agency's e-claims system, member portal system, and collection system. To contain the issue, the agency resorted to a temporary shutdown of its website and implemented manual processing of its services. It said no leaks with regard to the personal information and medical information of the PhilHealth members were not compromised. PhilHealth's website, member portal, e-claims submission are back online as of Monday morning. However, some of its application servers are still re-building. PhilHealth chief Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said their information technology department and information security department are prepared for such attacks. However, they immediately reported the incident to the DICT for containment and system reconfiguration. "I'm confident on our own, but at the same time, since help is being offered, we are utilizing all the help we can get in resolving this issue," Ledesma said. He assured PhilHealth members that the agency is "doing its very best and is using all the options available" to handle the problem.

Source: Philippines News Agency