Philippines police to get cybercrime training

Regional policemen will soon be trained to handle evidence related to “cyber crimes” through training to be conducted by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

This nationwide mobile training on cybercrime takes effect this month after a recent directive approved by PNP director general Arturo Lomibao, said police superintendent Gilbert Sosa, who heads CIDG’s Anti-Transnational Crime Division.

The PNP’s cybercrime unit will initially send its operatives to train policemen in Region 7, Region 4, and Region 3 including Davao City. “Outside of Metro Manila, these areas have the most number of PC users,” Sosa said in an interview with Computerworld Philippines.

The training will give emphasis on teaching regional policemen on how to properly preserve evidence during cybercrime-related cases, said Sosa. Police raids on suspected “cyber sex” dens are an example of a cybercrime case, he noted.

“They (regional police) don’t have the capability to analyze evidence yet so what we’d like to do is train them on how to properly preserve evidence until such time it reaches the forensics lab here in our headquarters,” Sosa said.

The CIDG’s cybercrime unit is composed of some 15 personnel, most of them graduates of Computer Science who have undergone certification via a grant from software firm Microsoft. The group is also partly funded by a grant from the Anti-Terrorism program of the US State Department.

The latter grant was used to purchase forensics equipment from abroad, Sosa said.

The Anti-Transnational Crime Division (ATCD) is mandated to conduct “overt and covert” operations against crimes like human trafficking, money laundering, arms smuggling, and piracy.

The ATCD also jointly manages the recently launched Government Computer Security Incident Response Team or G-CSIRT with the Presidential Task Force for the Security of Critical Infrastructures.

The G-CSIRT was created to combat security threats in government and other key sectors mentioned in the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan, namely, food and agriculture, transportation and communication, water, energy, health, emergency response services, manufacturing, banking and finance, strategic commercial centers, and cultural and religious sites and facilities.

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