NBI Arrests Local Media Outlet IT Officer in Alleged Government Website Hacking

The National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Cybercrime Division arrested an IT officer from a prominent media outlet on Friday. The suspect is accused of hacking the websites of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the National Security Council, and several banks.

According to the NBI, the suspect claims he hacked the websites at the instruction of his editor, Art Samaniego, who allegedly intended to use the information for his column and social media platforms. The NBI is preparing to file charges against Samaniego.

Samaniego, who is also the Senior Technology Officer of the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, vehemently denied the accusations. He emphasized his longstanding collaboration with government agencies on cybersecurity matters.

The arrested IT officer alleges Samaniego began directing him to hack websites in 2019, shortly after his hiring by the Manila Bulletin. He claims these hacked sites became content for Samaniego’s column and social media.

The Manila Bulletin has remained silent on the arrest of its IT officer and the hacking allegations. Also, during the NBI press conference, the suspect revealed one of his final alleged instructions from Samaniego was to hack the online application of political coalition 1Sambayan.

The NBI is actively collecting digital evidence and plans to subpoena Samaniego. NBI Cybercrime Division Chief Atty. Jeremy Lotoc assured Samaniego the opportunity to defend himself against the accusations.

Source

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