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Tech, Games, Blogging and Other Random Thoughts

Category: Technology

Power User Group Shoutout: Mac Power User and DirectPass 2.0

Posted on August 14, 2013  in Personal Experiences, Technology

Are you a Mac power user?

Do you want some free Trend Micro gift items?

Do you want some Sodexo Gift Checks?

If you’re answer is YES to the questions above, then I’ve got great news for you…

My teammates at TrendLabs will be having a Mac Power User event on Saturday, August 17, 2013 1pm-4pm. They are looking for tech-savvy Mac owners who would like to participate in some intensive and exciting testing with our Mac OS security solution, DirectPass 2.0, a password management solution.

directpass_boxshot

Image Credit: www.trendmicro.com

So what is DirectPass?

Trend Micro™ DirectPass™ is Trend Micro Password Manager solution. It manages website passwords and login IDs in one secure location, so users only need to remember one password. Other DirectPass features include: keystroke encryption, secure password generation, and a secure browser.

You think you fit that criteria for Mac Geek? then register via this surveymonkey link

All qualified participants who will attend the Power User event will get a Trend Micro gift item and Sodexo GC. If you are really lucky + uber-geeky and can find some critical bug, you might also win bigger prizes.

Registration closes on Friday August 16, 2013, 12 noon (GMT+8)

Feel free to forward this blog post to your friends (online and in-real-life), family members, relatives or classmates to share this wonderful opportunity with them. If you have Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Linkedin/etc, feel free to share/tweet/+1 this blog post too so that others can know about it.

And of course the traditional disclaimer at the end of the post:
I work at Trend Micro. This blog post is _NOT_ a paid post by Trend Micro. The information contained in this post is taken from Trend Micro Beta Team members. To know more on what I do officially full-time kindly visit my about page or visit my linkedin page. To read my blog’s disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

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Category: Technology

On Cybercrime and Interpol

Posted on June 26, 2013  in Technology

I am re-posting some news release from Interpol related to Trend Micro. This is about the collaborative efforts between the two organizations to support global law enforcement programs and combat cybercrime.

24 June 2013 – Media release
INTERPOL and Trend Micro to collaborate against cybercrime

LYON, France – INTERPOL and Trend Micro Inc. have announced that the security software leader is to collaborate with the world police body to support global law enforcement programmes to combat cybercrime. The announcement is the latest in INTERPOL’s efforts to boost the global fight against cybercrime by engaging with private sector leaders.

Following talks on Friday at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters between INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Trend Micro’s Chief Executive Officer, Eva Chen, Trend Micro is set to deliver training programmes to INTERPOL, government and police agencies in various participating countries to address emerging digital crime at the national and international level.

Including expertise and best practices, training will encompass e-learning modules, classroom-based training sessions, workshops and professional certifications.

“We are honoured to have earned the trust of INTERPOL to provide our expertise to keep digital information safe while exposing illegal activities,” said Eva Chen, CEO, Trend Micro. “Our team is on the frontlines of the quickly-evolving threat landscape and we look forward to sharing our analysis and insight to support global law enforcement. Alignment between public and private organizations will play a critical role against cybercrime and it will take collaboration such as this to be successful.”

Trend Micro will also help support the development of an INTERPOL cyber alert by providing expert cyber-threat analysis at INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) when it opens in Singapore in 2014. This cyber-specific alert created by the IGCI will be used to share information on cybercrime with not only the law enforcement community but also the general public.

“Due to the complexity of the cyber-threat landscape, investigation of cybercrimes is profoundly different in nature to traditional crime, requiring high-level technical expertise and large-scale cross-jurisdictional investigations,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“It is essential that law enforcement collaborate across sectors with Internet security experts such as Trend Micro so as to develop the technical expertise, tools and infrastructure necessary to effectively combat cybercrime and enhance digital security.”

“INTERPOL’s collaboration with Trend Micro therefore marks another significant step towards forging a global alliance against cybercrime,” added Secretary General Noble.

The IGCI will act as an international hub against cyber-threats to identify trends, build capacity in cybercrime units, and facilitate international cooperation through a multi-stakeholder alliance, bringing together the respective expertise and resources from specialists in law enforcement, public institutions, the private sector and academia.

“An essential element of this strategy is the creation of strategic alliances with the information technology sector to help national law enforcement keep abreast of technology trends and develop effective countermeasures,” said IGCI Executive Director Noboru Nakatani.

As a research and development facility for the identification of crimes and criminals, the state-of-the-art IGCI will provide innovative training and operational support for each of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries.

Maybe I will post some additional personal commentaries here at menardconnect.com in the next few days. But for now let me just congratulate Trend Micro and INTERPOL for these wonderful collaborative efforts.

Related Stories:
Interpol Press Release
Trend Micro Press Release

Lastly some disclosure:

I work at Trend Micro. My posts here in menardconnect.com are my own personal views and does not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions. To know more about me, kindly visit my about page. To know about this blog’s disclosure policy kindly visit my disclosure page.

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Category: Technology

Security Intelligence Blog: RSA Conference 2013: On Security Awareness, Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally

Posted on March 19, 2013  in Technology

As mentioned in my previous post, I recently attended a security conference in San Francisco. As a result of that trip I was able to collect some insights and posted an article for TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog. I am reposting that article here at menardconnect.com:

RSA Conference 2013: On Security Awareness, Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally
by Menard Osena (Solutions Product Manager)

Two weeks ago, I attended RSA 2013 Conference in San Francisco and was impressed by the number of participating security vendors. The addition of the Human Element and Breaking Research in the technical track sessions also provided a refreshing stroke to this year’s presentations.

Below are some of my experiences and insights on some noteworthy discussions involving security awareness, hacking back, and going offensive legally.

The 7 Highly Effective Habits of a Security Awareness Program

Samantha Manke and Ira Winkler of Secure Mentem discussed their views on the difference between security training and security awareness. They highlighted the importance of a security culture in companies in enabling employees to apply best computing practices on a daily basis, resulting to long-term security awareness within the organization.

They presented the results of their recent study conducted among Fortune 500 companies in the Health, Manufacturing, Food, Financial and Retail sectors. This study focuses on security awareness campaigns that companies implemented and how effective these were. They came up with key findings that lead them to create their 7 Highly Effective Habits of a Security Awareness Program, which are:

  1. Create a Strong Foundation
  2. (Have) Organizational Buy-in
  3. (Encourage) Participative Learning
  4. (Have) More Creative Endeavors
  5. Gather Metrics
  6. Partner with Key Departments
  7. Be the Department of HOW

My key takeaway for this session is of course the last part.  We, the information security professionals, should be the “Department of HOW” and not the “Department of NO”. We must focus on how to allow users to do what they want safely, not simply saying no to our own customers and further locking down systems.

While I understand the need to establish dos and don’ts in company security policies, we should raise the bar and let security be a key part of solving business challenges, not an obstacle to it.

On Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally

During the conference, I attended several sessions discussing intriguing concepts like hacking back and going offensive legally. One of the sessions was Highway to the Danger Zone…Going Offensive…Legally presented by George Kurtz and Steven Chabinsky of  CrowdStrike. The discussion focused on the idea of active defense as a form of offense against targeted attacks affecting companies. They clearly differentiated this concept from hacktivism and online vigilantism. However, Steven Chabinsky, being a lawyer, also expounded on its complexities like the differences of laws and legislation in different countries, making the concept difficult to define as of the moment.

Another session that covered very similar ground was Is it Whack to Hack Back a Persistent Attack?. Trend Micro’s Dave Asprey moderated this session. He was joined by Davi Ottenheimer of EMC Corporation, David Willson of Titan Info Security Group and again  George Kurtz from CrowdStrike. The panelists discussed the active defense/ hacking back phenomenon and its legal, ethical and business liabilities and complexities when practiced over the Internet.

Conclusion

My personal key takeaway from these sessions is the active defense concept entails risks and complications that may spur more problems instead of solving the situation. Instead, organizations, in particular security administrators, should have the correct mindset when it comes to targeted attacks and deploying an inside-out protection.

For now, I would stick with law enforcement agencies and private sector partnership as the best (and safest) path to combat targeted attack, exemplified by the Rove Digital Takedown last year.

Original article RSA Conference 2013: On Security Awareness, Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally from : Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – by Trend Micro.

My special thanks to Jonathan, Gelo and Badette for their assistance with the article. Special mentions to my RSA 2013 session buddies (Benj, Cathy, Paul) their ideas and encouragement (they really kept me awake and sane during the RSA week)!!!

I miss my free six series so I will post more SF and RSA stuff here in menardconnect.com soon…

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Category: Technology

#RSAC: To San Francisco Now

Posted on February 24, 2013  in Technology

I’m off to San Francisco for the RSA 2013 Conference. For the uninitiated, RSA Conference is one of the biggest information security conference held annually in the US (San Francisco), Europe and Asia. RSA 2013 will kick off tomorrow February 25 and will be held until Friday March 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, USA.

RSA2013

As described in the official conference website:

RSA Conference continually evolves program offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of our delegates in the dynamic infosec industry. This year we will be debuting:

  • 275+ sessions across 22 tracks – including seven newly created tracks
  • 20-minute and 60-minute sessions are offered so you can acquire more knowledge and maximize your Conference experience.
  • An additional Expo space to accommodate even more industry-leading vendors!
  • And more…

I’ve been in several RSA conference and it feels great to be back again. I have previously share my RSA experiences here, here, here, here and here.

This year’s theme is “Security in knowledge, Mastering Data. Securing the world”. The conference website also detailed the this year’ theme 2013: Security in knowledge- RSA Conference 2013 theme

The Gutenberg Printing Press

Data by itself is nothing but a collection of facts and figures, letters and numbers. However, when ignited by understanding and context, data can become so much more. In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession, completed his invention of the printing press, which sparked a revolution in the way people see and describe the world they live in. This collection of wooden and metal letters, regarded as one of the most influential inventions of the second millennium, led to the mass distribution of information and a wave of enlightenment that modernized and transformed culture. Today, we live in a digital age where the printed page is becoming obsolete. But we find ourselves amidst our own information revolution. Data has grown big and gets bigger with every digital transaction we make. It also is more accessible than ever, which leads to the questions, “how do we use, secure and share the information that surrounds us?” As we stand in the midst of the change we look back to the time of Gutenberg to find inspiration for the future of security. Knowledge has always been power. Knowledge has always kept us one step ahead of security threats. We’ve found security in knowledge. And just as Gutenberg’s wooden and metal letters sparked the evolution of culture, at RSA Conference 2013, we bring our security insights and perspectives together to ignite the mass of information that surrounds us.

OK I am starting to sound too geeky now 🙂 Sorry, kinda excited 😀

I will do my best to post something related to RSA and other #security #infosec related here in my blog soon…

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Category: Technology

On Ransomware and Reveton

Posted on February 19, 2013  in Technology

Ransomware is a tricky problem in the #infosec world. These type of malware “kidnaps” the users files and/or system and demands money in exchange for the file /or systems “freedom”.

According to Wikipedia, Ransomware comprises a class of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed. Some forms of ransomware encrypt files on the system’s hard drive, while some may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying.

Some good news about ransomware that is worth sharing here at menardconnect.com

Key Figure in Police Ransomware Activity Nabbed

by Trend Micro Advanced Threats Researchers

Ransomware is a nasty scam that infiltrates your computer and tricks you into thinking that you’ve done something wrong. Police ransomware in particular informs users that they need to pay their local police a fine.

reveton
We have written detailed reports about these attacks in the past, including multiple blog posts as part of our investigations into this ongoing threat.

Trend Micro threat researchers have been studying this scam throughout 2012 and have collaborated very closely with law enforcement authorities  in several European countries, especially in Spain. Today, we are very happy to report that the Spanish Police has put the information to good use, and they have just announced in a press conference the arrest of one of the head members of the cybercriminal gang that produces the Ransomware strain known as REVETON.

The apparent arrest of this cybercriminal of Russian origin occured in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The law enforcement authorities are working to extradite him to Spain for prosecution. Along with his arrest, the operation included the arrests of 10 other individuals tied to the money laundering component of the gang’s operations, which managed the monetization of the PaySafeCard/UKash vouchers received as payment in the scam. The gang apparently had a branch in Spain that exchanged these vouchers and converted them into actual money, which would then be transferred to the leaders of the gang in Russia.

Trend Micro is very proud that our involvement in this shared intelligence effort produced such good results. We also want to thank the Spanish Police for being proactive in this case and being able to collaborate so closely with us. We hope there will be many more victories against cybercrime like this, and will continue to work very closely with international law enforcement authorities on similar investigations.  You can access the Spanish Police press release here.

For more information on Police Ransomware, read the following blog posts:

  • New Police Ransomware Claims Fake Treaty Among AV Vendors and Police
  • Latest on Police Ransomware – It Speaks!
  • Police Ransomware Bears Fake Digital Signature
  • Police Ransomware: Evolving At a Tremendous Pace
  • New Ransomware Plays Its Victims an Audio File, Over and Over and Over…

Original Post from Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – Key Figure in Police Ransomware Activity Nabbed .
Image Credits: TrendLabs Security Intel Blog

Congratulations to the Spanish Police and all the LE agencies involved. Kudos to Trend Micro Advanced Threats Research Team 🙂

For more details on Reveton and this police ransomware, kindly visit:

Some disclosure:
I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions. To know more about me (work and other stuff), kindly visit my about page. To know more about my blogs full disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

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Category: Technology

Download Free Temple Run 2 For Android… NOT

Posted on January 24, 2013  in Gaming, Technology

Since I have promised in my Temple Run 2 Download for iPad post that I will give updates whenever I already have Free Temple Run 2 For Android download links, I am constantly looking out for that Temple Run 2 for Android in Google Play Store.

Around 11:35 PM (GMT+8) of January 19, I found these apps in Google Play Store

Temple-Run-2-Android-Screenshot-01

Wow! got 2 hits for Temple Run 2 HD and they are using the new Temple Run 2 logo, really they have it in Android and its in HD (another wow!) am I lucky that day?

Looking closely at the first app I discovered something fishy.

Temple-Run-2-Android-Screenshot-02

Because original developers of the Temple Run is Imangi Studios and _NOT_ IMANGHI (take note of the H). 5900+ ratings. I looked further at the description of the app and its the same cut and paste description text found in the iTunes:

Description
The sequel to the smash hit phenomenon that took the world by storm!

With over 170 million downloads, Temple Run redefined mobile gaming. Now get more of the exhilarating running, jumping, turning and sliding you love in Temple Run 2!

Looking at the second suspicious Temple Run 2 HD for Android app

Temple-Run-2-Android-Screenshot-03
the descriptionIS the same text description found in iTunes. Lazy Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V

Researching further, I looked at the reviews and this KSGBLUEAPPS version already have 122 5-stars. Wow!
Reading the full description of the apps and some of the user reviews I confirmed my suspicions: users are already complaining that these apps are just a puzzle/wallpaper apps, they are _NOT_ the legit Temple Run 2 app and they come with a big twist, with lots of Ads/Advertisement links (and by the sound of the 1-star reviewers comment, loads of Ad/Advertisement-related links for your mobile phone). This is very PREDICTABLE if you will ask me, as Ad/Adverts will bring in cash (kaching-kaching) and that is where the money is 🙂

What I find really amazing is “they” ARE FAST. In less than 2 days after the legit version Temple Run 2 for iOS was released, suspicious Temple Run 2 Android apps already made it in the Google Play Store.

So I did NOT download it and I forgot about it already (Either I’m getting old or I’m a very busy guy yah know :p)

Fast forward to January 22 around 4PM (GMT+8), a teammate send me an email asking about some malicious Android app related to Temple Run 2. So I checked their concern and remembered my weekend ad-friendly apps. I also searched for them, yup the previous Temple Run 2 HD for Android apps by Imanghi and KSGBlueApps from Google Play. Alas! both apps are already _NOT_ available via Google Play. I have several (conspiracy) theories on why they were removed but I will keep them to myself. What is important now is that Trend Micro already detects the said apps as ANDROIDOS_FAKETEMPLRUN.A, a Malware Blog post is already publicly available:

Fake Versions of Temple Run 2 Sprint Their Way to Users via Trend Micro Security Intelligence Blog.

and the said malicious apps are already kicked out in Google Play Store 🙂

Some questions remain:

  • Are the apps (I screen captured) exact copies of those apps that my teammates analyzed for the Malware Blog post: Maybe. If we will base it from company name, description and related strings, most probably its the same.
  • Am I sure about this? Not 100%. Sorry I do not have the exact APK file to compare it byte per byte to come up with a conclusion.
  • Why did Google removed them from Google Play? I don’t know. You better ask them not me :p
  • Do you see where these questions are leading you? (hehe conspiracy theorist = menard)

Lesson learned. Back to basic security tip: Be cautious of what you search, download and install to your mobile phone (this also applies to desktop/PCs). Be careful also with other unofficial Android Markets and websites offering free apps.

Better be safe than sorry OK?

AI: Do a blog post as an awareness campaign. Check!

Again be careful: malicious Temple Run 2 Android apps are out there in the wild.

Lastly some disclosure:
I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more about me (work and other stuff), kindly visit my about page.
To know more about my blogs full disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

ScreenCapture Credits: Me and Gorehowldroid

Update: 2013.01.26

Legit Temple Run 2 For Android available now via Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imangi.templerun2

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Category: Technology

Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft Windows Live Messenger Breakup

Posted on December 3, 2012  in Personal Experiences, Technology

I’ve read via the Yahoo Messenger announcement that YM and MS Windows Live Messenger will no longer be interoperable starting December 14, 2012.


I am a fan of instant messaging apps. I remember those good ol days when I still have ICQ and AOL IM (together with YM and MSN/hotmail) and Trillian was my pop tool to manage all the IMs. So don’t be surprised if this YM and MSN messenger interoperability is a sad news for me. Honestly I have loved their inter-connectivity for a long time and I got a lot of MSN/Hotmail contacts in my YM account.

Quoting the YM Blog:

Yahoo! Messenger interoperability with Microsoft Windows Live Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger will no longer be interoperable with Microsoft Windows Live Messenger as of December 14, 2012. Microsoft buddies will still appear on your Messenger contact list, but they will be greyed out, and if you try to send instant messages to them, the messages will not be delivered.

This is just one of the several EOS’es that Yahoo announced last November 30. Yahoo! Messenger Public Chat Rooms, Yahoo! Messenger Pingbox and Yahoo! Voice Phone In and Phone Out are the other features that will not be continued.

I don’t have other info about the YM and MS Messenger breakup but maybe both instant messenger projects are low priority in both tech companies so it’s very easy to say it will be not be functioning altogether. Maybe the revenue is not good or maybe this interconnection is too costly to maintain. Maybe the Skype acquisition and current MSFT integration or the direction to move to the outlook.com model played a key role coming up with the stop interoperability decision.

Read more about this story the Yahoo Messenger Blog post.

Are you a Yahoo Messenger user too? Or maybe a Microsoft Windows Live Messenger user? Or maybe BOTH? What are your thoughts on this breakup? Feel free to leave your comments at the end of this blog post.

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Category: Technology

Bad Piggies Download: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted on October 17, 2012  in Gaming, Technology

I really love the Bad Piggies. This is the reason why i posted the Pigs Are Awesome, Birds Stink post. I also supported #JoinTeamGreen in twitter

But I guess news about Bad Piggies and Bad Piggies Download is not all good (reminiscing the “its all good” quote from the Angry Birds). Bad Piggies Download can go bad and ugly too 🙂

The Good

Bad Piggies reached the top spot in the iTunes App Store Download list just three hours after the September 27, 2012 launch.

Rovio had several great releases for 2012.  The Angry Birds Space and Amazing Alex games also topped the iTunes App Store Download Charts. But Bad Piggies games broke previous Rovio records with its 3-hour surge to the top of the download charts.

Bad Piggies continues to get great reviews from gaming and news websites like all IGN, Kotaku, Wired, Gamezebo and Touch Arcade.

The Bad
My Android phone is not compatible with the Bad Piggies game. I will try the Bad Piggies PC version over the weekend and see if I will like the gameplay . For more info on the Bad Piggies game play kindly view the Bad Piggies game play courtesy of youtube and Rovio.

But I guess this is just as bad (and sad) news for me (and not for other Piggie fanatics out there). But I am still hopeful (that I can buy a new phone just to play Bad Piggies 🙂 *woot*

The Ugly
Malicious and Fake Bad Piggies app are in the wild and users should be wary of downloading Bad Piggies apps that are NOT from official sources (Google Play, Apple Store, official Rovio sources).  Trend Micro warns about the ANDROIDOS_FAKEINST.A malware that can be downloaded from some Russian websites.

Quoting Trendlabs Security intelligence Blog

The said (Russian) site offers the said app on different platforms. Instead of the actual Bad Piggies app, users instead download a malicious .APK file detected as ANDROIDOS_FAKEINST.A. Once installed, it creates a shortcut on the device’s homepage and sends SMS messages to specific numbers. As mentioned, these messages are sent without user consent and may cost users to pay extra for something they didn’t authorize.


To all Bad Piggies fans out there: BE careful OK?

I will post some Bad Piggies review soon (and maybe some Bad Piggies cheats and tips too)

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Category: Technology

On Libel and Viruses: My Notes on RA 10175, Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

Posted on October 2, 2012  in Technology

I posted the full text for RA 10175 Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and I promised that I will post an update here at menardconnect.com but I was occupied with lots of official stuff for the last two weeks. And since today is Blog Action Day, I am posting my notes on RA 10175  Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Aside from the lack of technical depth of RA 10175 with regards to actual cyber crime happening globally, I am  writing about two points that in my opinion is worth looking into. Again, this is coming from my experience as a infosec (information security) practitioner and blogger.

That Libel Clause

That libel clause is really the root of all clamor against this bill. When the Senate announced the bill (link to Senate announcement/PR here and PDF link here), there is really _NO_ libel clause. I am just surprised that in its final form (signed RA) this clause:

(4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.

was added.

Netizens will really have doubts and may even theorize that this insertion has something to do with the Comedian Senator snafu (sorry he is NOT fit to be mentioned in the post).

I hope they can modify this part (Sorry I don’t know the correct legal term, is it repeal or amend or ?).

That Viruses Reference

RA 10175 mentions something about computer viruses. Specifically:

(3) Data Interference. — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

(4) System Interference. — The intentional alteration or reckless hindering or interference with the functioning of a computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right or authority, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

My opinion is that the legislators should the use the word malware instead of the word viruses. Malware (yes its plural without the “s”) is the correct technical term so that we can include the other malicious stuff that is also prevalent with global cyber crime.

Quoting Wikipedia (so that there will be NO selosan which AV/Security Vendor’s definition I will use)

Malware, short for malicious software, is software used or created to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. ‘Malware’ is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.

Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, as in the legal codes of several U.S. states.

Let’s not alienate the trojans, worms, backdoors and malicious scripts from the law and coverage because they are equally used in cyber crime.

That’s all for now!

(I’m still thinking if I can safely post my experience about lawyers + blogging + social media fail that happened to me and my blog some years ago.)

Some useful links/defs on malware, viruses, and libel.

As a support to the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance, I am posting their link here, kindly visit their site, (I’m still assessing the scripts prior to deployment).

Before I end this post, some disclosure:

I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are my personal opinion and do not represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more on what I do full-time, kindly visit my about page.
To know more about my blog’s full disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

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Category: Technology

Full Text of RA 10175: Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

Posted on September 18, 2012  in Technology

Update 2012.08.02

I posted my notes on RA 10175. Kindly visit On Libel and Viruses: My Notes on RA 10175, Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

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I’m always excited when several of my favorite topics intersect. For this week it is cyber-security/cybercrime meets Philippine politics in the form of a new law dubbed as the Philippines Cybercrime Act.

To start the series, I’m posting the full text of the Republic Act No. 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. RA 10175 is the consolidation of the Senate Bill No. 2796 and the House Bill No. 5808. It was signed into a law by President Noynoy Aquino III last September 12, 2012.

First personal impression of the RA10175: It is a good start, but still lacking in depth (technical depth and e.g. what is really happening in the world of global cyber crime scene). I’m not a legal expert so my point of view will be mostly coming from the technical side (Information Security) and the current state of cybercrime/cybersecurity around the world). Enough of the personal opinions, here is the full text of the Republic Act No. 10175: Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Fifteenth Congress
Second Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday the Twenty-fifth day of July two thousand eleven.

[ Republic Act No. 10175 ]

AN ACT DEFINING CYBERCRIME, PROVIDING FOR THE PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION, SUPPRESSION AND THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

SECTION 1. Title. — This Act shall be known as the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012?.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. — The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications industries such as content production, telecommunications, broadcasting electronic commerce, and data processing, in the nation’s overall social and economic development. The State also recognizes the importance of providing an environment conducive to the development, acceleration, and rational application and exploitation of information and communications technology (ICT) to attain free, easy, and intelligible access to exchange and/or delivery of information; and the need to protect and safeguard the integrity of computer, computer and communications systems, networks, and databases, and the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and data stored therein, from all forms of misuse, abuse, and illegal access by making punishable under the law such conduct or conducts. In this light, the State shall adopt sufficient powers to effectively prevent and combat such offenses by facilitating their detection, investigation, and prosecution at both the domestic and international levels, and by providing arrangements for fast and reliable international cooperation.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Act, the following terms are hereby defined as follows:

(a) Access refers to the instruction, communication with, storing data in, retrieving data from, or otherwise making use of any resources of a computer system or communication network.

(b) Alteration refers to the modification or change, in form or substance, of an existing computer data or program.

(c) Communication refers to the transmission of information through ICT media, including voice, video and other forms of data.

(d) Computer refers to an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other data processing or communications device, or grouping of such devices, capable of performing logical, arithmetic, routing, or storage functions and which includes any storage facility or equipment or communications facility or equipment directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device. It covers any type of computer device including devices with data processing capabilities like mobile phones, smart phones, computer networks and other devices connected to the internet.

(e) Computer data refers to any representation of facts, information, or concepts in a form suitable for processing in a computer system including a program suitable to cause a computer system to perform a function and includes electronic documents and/or electronic data messages whether stored in local computer systems or online.

(f) Computer program refers to a set of instructions executed by the computer to achieve intended results.

(g) Computer system refers to any device or group of interconnected or related devices, one or more of which, pursuant to a program, performs automated processing of data. It covers any type of device with data processing capabilities including, but not limited to, computers and mobile phones. The device consisting of hardware and software may include input, output and storage components which may stand alone or be connected in a network or other similar devices. It also includes computer data storage devices or media.

(h) Without right refers to either: (i) conduct undertaken without or in excess of authority; or (ii) conduct not covered by established legal defenses, excuses, court orders, justifications, or relevant principles under the law.

(i) Cyber refers to a computer or a computer network, the electronic medium in which online communication takes place.

(j) Critical infrastructure refers to the computer systems, and/or networks, whether physical or virtual, and/or the computer programs, computer data and/or traffic data so vital to this country that the incapacity or destruction of or interference with such system and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national or economic security, national public health and safety, or any combination of those matters.

(k) Cybersecurity refers to the collection of tools, policies, risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices, assurance and technologies that can be used to protect the cyber environment and organization and user’s assets.

(l) Database refers to a representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts, or instructions which are being prepared, processed or stored or have been prepared, processed or stored in a formalized manner and which are intended for use in a computer system.

(m) Interception refers to listening to, recording, monitoring or surveillance of the content of communications, including procuring of the content of data, either directly, through access and use of a computer system or indirectly, through the use of electronic eavesdropping or tapping devices, at the same time that the communication is occurring.

(n) Service provider refers to:

(1) Any public or private entity that provides to users of its service the ability to communicate by means of a computer system; and

(2) Any other entity that processes or stores computer data on behalf of such communication service or users of such service.

(o) Subscriber’s information refers to any information contained in the form of computer data or any other form that is held by a service provider, relating to subscribers of its services other than traffic or content data and by which identity can be established:

(1) The type of communication service used, the technical provisions taken thereto and the period of service;

(2) The subscriber’s identity, postal or geographic address, telephone and other access numbers, any assigned network address, billing and payment information, available on the basis of the service agreement or arrangement; and

(3) Any other available information on the site of the installation of communication equipment, available on the basis of the service agreement or arrangement.

(p) Traffic data or non-content data refers to any computer data other than the content of the communication including, but not limited to, the communication’s origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying service.

CHAPTER II
PUNISHABLE ACTS

SEC. 4. Cybercrime Offenses. — The following acts constitute the offense of cybercrime punishable under this Act:

(a) Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems:

(1) Illegal Access. – The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right.

(2) Illegal Interception. – The interception made by technical means without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data.

(3) Data Interference. — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

(4) System Interference. — The intentional alteration or reckless hindering or interference with the functioning of a computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right or authority, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

(5) Misuse of Devices.

(i) The use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution, or otherwise making available, without right, of:

(aa) A device, including a computer program, designed or adapted primarily for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act; or

(bb) A computer password, access code, or similar data by which the whole or any part of a computer system is capable of being accessed with intent that it be used for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act.

(ii) The possession of an item referred to in paragraphs 5(i)(aa) or (bb) above with intent to use said devices for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this section.

(6) Cyber-squatting. – The acquisition of a domain name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same, if such a domain name is:

(i) Similar, identical, or confusingly similar to an existing trademark registered with the appropriate government agency at the time of the domain name registration:

(ii) Identical or in any way similar with the name of a person other than the registrant, in case of a personal name; and

(iii) Acquired without right or with intellectual property interests in it.

(b) Computer-related Offenses:

(1) Computer-related Forgery. —

(i) The input, alteration, or deletion of any computer data without right resulting in inauthentic data with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were authentic, regardless whether or not the data is directly readable and intelligible; or

(ii) The act of knowingly using computer data which is the product of computer-related forgery as defined herein, for the purpose of perpetuating a fraudulent or dishonest design.

(2) Computer-related Fraud. — The unauthorized input, alteration, or deletion of computer data or program or interference in the functioning of a computer system, causing damage thereby with fraudulent intent: Provided, That if no

damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower.

(3) Computer-related Identity Theft. – The intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether natural or juridical, without right: Provided, That if no damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower.

(c) Content-related Offenses:

(1) Cybersex. — The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.

(2) Child Pornography. — The unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a computer system: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775.

(3) Unsolicited Commercial Communications. — The transmission of commercial electronic communication with the use of computer system which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services are prohibited unless:

(i) There is prior affirmative consent from the recipient; or

(ii) The primary intent of the communication is for service and/or administrative announcements from the sender to its existing users, subscribers or customers; or

(iii) The following conditions are present:

(aa) The commercial electronic communication contains a simple, valid, and reliable way for the recipient to reject. receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from the same source;

(bb) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely disguise the source of the electronic message; and

(cc) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely include misleading information in any part of the message in order to induce the recipients to read the message.

(4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.

SEC. 5. Other Offenses. — The following acts shall also constitute an offense:

(a) Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime. – Any person who willfully abets or aids in the commission of any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.

(b) Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrime. — Any person who willfully attempts to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.

SEC. 6. All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may be.

SEC. 7. Liability under Other Laws. — A prosecution under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, or special laws.

CHAPTER III
PENALTIES

SEC. 8. Penalties. — Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Sections 4(a) and 4(b) of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of at least Two hundred thousand pesos (PhP200,000.00) up to a maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or both.

Any person found guilty of the punishable act under Section 4(a)(5) shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (PhP500,000.00) or both.

If punishable acts in Section 4(a) are committed against critical infrastructure, the penalty of reclusion temporal or a fine of at least Five hundred thousand pesos (PhP500,000.00) up to maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or both, shall be imposed.

Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(1) of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of at least Two hundred thousand pesos (PhP200,000.00) but not exceeding One million pesos (PhPl,000,000.00) or both.

Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(2) of this Act shall be punished with the penalties as enumerated in Republic Act No. 9775 or the “Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009?: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775, if committed through a computer system.

Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(3) shall be punished with imprisonment of arresto mayor or a fine of at least Fifty thousand pesos (PhP50,000.00) but not exceeding Two hundred fifty thousand pesos (PhP250,000.00) or both.

Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 5 shall be punished with imprisonment one (1) degree lower than that of the prescribed penalty for the offense or a fine of at least One hundred thousand pesos (PhPl00,000.00) but not exceeding Five hundred thousand pesos (PhP500,000.00) or both.

SEC. 9. Corporate Liability. — When any of the punishable acts herein defined are knowingly committed on behalf of or for the benefit of a juridical person, by a natural person acting either individually or as part of an organ of the juridical person, who has a leading position within, based on: (a) a power of representation of the juridical person provided the act committed falls within the scope of such authority; (b) an authority to take decisions on behalf of the juridical person: Provided, That the act committed falls within the scope of such authority; or (c) an authority to exercise control within the juridical person, the juridical person shall be held liable for a fine equivalent to at least double the fines imposable in Section 7 up to a maximum of Ten million pesos (PhP10,000,000.00).

If the commission of any of the punishable acts herein defined was made possible due to the lack of supervision or control by a natural person referred to and described in the preceding paragraph, for the benefit of that juridical person by a natural person acting under its authority, the juridical person shall be held liable for a fine equivalent to at least double the fines imposable in Section 7 up to a maximum of Five million pesos (PhP5,000,000.00).

The liability imposed on the juridical person shall be without prejudice to the criminal liability of the natural person who has committed the offense.

CHAPTER IV
ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION

SEC. 10. Law Enforcement Authorities. — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall be responsible for the efficient and effective law enforcement of the provisions of this Act. The NBI and the PNP shall organize a cybercrime unit or center manned by special investigators to exclusively handle cases involving violations of this Act.

SEC. 11. Duties of Law Enforcement Authorities. — To ensure that the technical nature of cybercrime and its prevention is given focus and considering the procedures involved for international cooperation, law enforcement authorities specifically the computer or technology crime divisions or units responsible for the investigation of cybercrimes are required to submit timely and regular reports including pre-operation, post-operation and investigation results and such other documents as may be required to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for review and monitoring.

SEC. 12. Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data. — Law enforcement authorities, with due cause, shall be authorized to collect or record by technical or electronic means traffic data in real-time associated with specified communications transmitted by means of a computer system.

Traffic data refer only to the communication’s origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying service, but not content, nor identities.

All other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a court warrant.

Service providers are required to cooperate and assist law enforcement authorities in the collection or recording of the above-stated information.

The court warrant required under this section shall only be issued or granted upon written application and the examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce and the showing: (1) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed, or is being committed, or is about to be committed: (2) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that evidence that will be obtained is essential to the conviction of any person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any such crimes; and (3) that there are no other means readily available for obtaining such evidence.

SEC. 13. Preservation of Computer Data. — The integrity of traffic data and subscriber information relating to communication services provided by a service provider shall be preserved for a minimum period of six (6) months from the date of the transaction. Content data shall be similarly preserved for six (6) months from the date of receipt of the order from law enforcement authorities requiring its preservation.

Law enforcement authorities may order a one-time extension for another six (6) months: Provided, That once computer data preserved, transmitted or stored by a service provider is used as evidence in a case, the mere furnishing to such service provider of the transmittal document to the Office of the Prosecutor shall be deemed a notification to preserve the computer data until the termination of the case.

The service provider ordered to preserve computer data shall keep confidential the order and its compliance.

SEC. 14. Disclosure of Computer Data. — Law enforcement authorities, upon securing a court warrant, shall issue an order requiring any person or service provider to disclose or submit subscriber’s information, traffic data or relevant data in his/its possession or control within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of the order in relation to a valid complaint officially docketed and assigned for investigation and the disclosure is necessary and relevant for the purpose of investigation.

SEC. 15. Search, Seizure and Examination of Computer Data. — Where a search and seizure warrant is properly issued, the law enforcement authorities shall likewise have the following powers and duties.

Within the time period specified in the warrant, to conduct interception, as defined in this Act, and:

(a) To secure a computer system or a computer data storage medium;

(b) To make and retain a copy of those computer data secured;

(c) To maintain the integrity of the relevant stored computer data;

(d) To conduct forensic analysis or examination of the computer data storage medium; and

(e) To render inaccessible or remove those computer data in the accessed computer or computer and communications network.

Pursuant thereof, the law enforcement authorities may order any person who has knowledge about the functioning of the computer system and the measures to protect and preserve the computer data therein to provide, as is reasonable, the necessary information, to enable the undertaking of the search, seizure and examination.

Law enforcement authorities may request for an extension of time to complete the examination of the computer data storage medium and to make a return thereon but in no case for a period longer than thirty (30) days from date of approval by the court.

SEC. 16. Custody of Computer Data. — All computer data, including content and traffic data, examined under a proper warrant shall, within forty-eight (48) hours after the expiration of the period fixed therein, be deposited with the court in a sealed package, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the law enforcement authority executing it stating the dates and times covered by the examination, and the law enforcement authority who may access the deposit, among other relevant data. The law enforcement authority shall also certify that no duplicates or copies of the whole or any part thereof have been made, or if made, that all such duplicates or copies are included in the package deposited with the court. The package so deposited shall not be opened, or the recordings replayed, or used in evidence, or then contents revealed, except upon order of the court, which shall not be granted except upon motion, with due notice and opportunity to be heard to the person or persons whose conversation or communications have been recorded.

SEC. 17. Destruction of Computer Data. — Upon expiration of the periods as provided in Sections 13 and 15, service providers and law enforcement authorities, as the case may be, shall immediately and completely destroy the computer data subject of a preservation and examination.

SEC. 18. Exclusionary Rule. — Any evidence procured without a valid warrant or beyond the authority of the same shall be inadmissible for any proceeding before any court or tribunal.

SEC. 19. Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data. — When a computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer data.

SEC. 20. Noncompliance. — Failure to comply with the provisions of Chapter IV hereof specifically the orders from law enforcement authorities shall be punished as a violation of Presidential Decree No. 1829 with imprisonment of prision correctional in its maximum period or a fine of One hundred thousand pesos (Php100,000.00) or both, for each and every noncompliance with an order issued by law enforcement authorities.

CHAPTER V
JURISDICTION

SEC. 21. Jurisdiction. — The Regional Trial Court shall have jurisdiction over any violation of the provisions of this Act. including any violation committed by a Filipino national regardless of the place of commission. Jurisdiction shall lie if any of the elements was committed within the Philippines or committed with the use of any computer system wholly or partly situated in the country, or when by such commission any damage is caused to a natural or juridical person who, at the time the offense was committed, was in the Philippines.

There shall be designated special cybercrime courts manned by specially trained judges to handle cybercrime cases.

CHAPTER VI
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Sec. 22. General Principles Relating to International Cooperation — All relevant international instruments on international cooperation in criminal matters, arrangements agreed on the basis of uniform or reciprocal legislation, and domestic laws, to the widest extent possible for the purposes of investigations or proceedings concerning criminal offenses related to computer systems and data, or for the collection of evidence in electronic form of a criminal, offense shall be given full force and effect.

CHAPTER VII
COMPETENT AUTHORITIES

SEC 23. Department of Justice (DOJ). — There is hereby created an Office of Cybercrime within the DOJ designated as the central authority in all matters related to international mutual assistance and extradition.

SEC. 24. Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center. — There is hereby created, within thirty (30) days from the effectivity of this Act, an inter-agency body to be known as the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, for policy coordination among concerned agencies and for the formulation and enforcement of the national cybersecurity plan.

SEC. 25. Composition. — The CICC shall be headed by the Executive Director of the Information and Communications Technology Office under the Department of Science and Technology (ICTO-DOST) as Chairperson with the Director of the NBI as Vice Chairperson; the Chief of the PNP; Head of the DOJ Office of Cybercrime; and one (1) representative from the private sector and academe, as members. The CICC shall be manned by a secretariat of selected existing personnel and representatives from the different participating agencies.

SEC. 26. Powers and Functions. — The CICC shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) To formulate a national cybersecurity plan and extend immediate assistance for the suppression of real-time commission of cybercrime offenses through a computer emergency response team (CERT);

(b) To coordinate the preparation of appropriate and effective measures to prevent and suppress cybercrime activities as provided for in this Act;

(c) To monitor cybercrime cases being bandied by participating law enforcement and prosecution agencies;

(d) To facilitate international cooperation on intelligence, investigations, training and capacity building related to cybercrime prevention, suppression and prosecution;

(e) To coordinate the support and participation of the business sector, local government units and nongovernment organizations in cybercrime prevention programs and other

related projects;

(f) To recommend the enactment of appropriate laws, issuances, measures and policies;

(g) To call upon any government agency to render assistance in the accomplishment of the CICC’s mandated tasks and functions; and

(h) To perform all other matters related to cybercrime prevention and suppression, including capacity building and such other functions and duties as may be necessary for the proper implementation of this Act.

CHAPTER VIII
FINAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 27. Appropriations. — The amount of Fifty million pesos (PhP50,000,000_00) shall be appropriated annually for the implementation of this Act.

SEC. 28. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — The ICTO-DOST, the DOJ and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall jointly formulate the necessary rules and regulations within ninety (90) days from approval of this Act, for its effective implementation.

SEC. 29. Separability Clause — If any provision of this Act is held invalid, the other provisions not affected shall remain in full force and effect.

SEC. 30. Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees or rules inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Section 33(a) of Republic Act No. 8792 or the “Electronic Commerce Act” is hereby modified accordingly.

SEC. 31. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
of Representatives

JUAN PONCE ENRILE
President of the Senate

BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

More personal opinions on this issue to follow soon (maybe a 2 or 3-part series of posts 🙂 ).

Some disclosure before I end the post.

I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are my personal opinion and do not represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more on what I do full-time, kindly visit my about page.
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Full Text credits to Official Gazette. You can download the pdf via

http://www.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/

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