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IT officer of local media arrested for alleged hacking of websites and banks, internet users displeased

An IT officer from a well known publication has been arrested for allegedly hacking several websites of different organizations and banks.

IT officer
Niko Baua on X

According to the suspect, he was tasked to hack some of the websites with the instructions from the IT editor of Manila Bulletin. He stated that the reason behind this is that he can be able to use this as content for his column and social media platforms.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is preparing to file a case for this incident. According to the agency, he has denied all the allegations given to him and also added that he has been working with government agencies in cybersecurity for a very long time.  

The suspect mentioned that Samaniego has been giving him instructions on what websites to hack back in 2019 after he was hired by Manila Bulletin. He also stated that the hacked websites became the main topic of his column. 

In the press conference held by NBI, the suspect said that one of the last instructions that he got from the mastermind was to hack the online application of the political coalition “1Sambayan.”

After the 1Sambayan App had been hacked, the suspect further expounded that the IT editor wrote about this in his column right away. He stated that this is the reason why he was ahead in releasing reports regarding the vulnerabilities of these websites and apps.

The NBI is now currently gathering all the evidence in the case and will issue a subpoena against Samaniego. Cybercrime Division Chief Atty. Jeremy Lotoc states that they would give Samaniego a chance to answer these allegations. 

Socwere displeased with the situation and took to social media to express their disappointment.

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Later this afternoon, The Manila Bulletin issued an official statement across its social media accounts regarding the incident. The statement did not specify any actions for the IT editor in question but reassured the public that the company is committed to complying with the law.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, the Manila Bulletin has always adhered to the laws of the land and requires its employees to be law abiding. We expect our employees to be accorded their rights. We assure the public of Manila Bulletin’s utmost fidelity to the laws of the land,” they wrote.


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