Popular digital wallet application GCash rolled out a new security measure meant to prevent hackers from taking over accounts. The new measures come following a recent incident where a significant number of users experienced unauthorized transactions.
In a statement released Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the Globe-backed digital wallet service said that it had rolled out its new “DoubleSafe” facial recognition feature to all of its verified subscribers.
“The [facial] recognition feature is built within the app and doesn’t require mobile phones with high-end features,” stated GCash chief technology and operations officer Pebbles Sy. “We made sure all our verified user base will have access to this security feature as we notice the prevalence of phishing attempts outside the app.”
DoubleSafe activates whenever a user logs in for the first time on a new device. Its use of facial recognition technology should prevent hackers from accessing accounts even if they get hold of a user’s Mobile PIN (MPIN) and one-time PIN.
The implementation of GCash’s new security measures comes following an incident earlier this month where users of the service started reporting numerous unauthorized deductions from their accounts.
GCash traced the money from the unauthorized transactions to two separate bank accounts. The transactions were later reversed and the money returned to the proper accounts.
As part of their investigation, GCash stated that the affected accounts were compromised via phishing. This is a fraudulent activity where hackers trick victims into providing their personal information, which they then use to gain access to their accounts. (Read: Why should you switch to digital wallets like GCash and PayMaya, and why you shouldn’t)
GCash is currently coordinating with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the National Privacy Commission to investigate the incident.
“We remain steadfast in ensuring the protection of our customers’ funds and data as we continue to invest in the latest cybersecurity technologies and capabilities,” the company previously stated.
DoubleSafe looks to be one of the technologies that GCash is investing in to secure its users’ accounts. Hopefully, it continues to invest in more technologies and security best practices to ensure that a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future.
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