Cybercrime in Lebanon caused $12 million in losses in 2015, the secretary of the country’s anti-money laundering watchdog said Monday.
“Cybercrime has become one of most serious digital crimes that threaten the banking sector and financial transactions of individuals and companies. The number of online financial embezzlement [cases] was 84 transactions and this caused a loss of $12 million in 2015,” Abdul-Hafiz Mansour, secretary of the Special Investigation Commission, said in a statement.
He added that confronting cybercrime requires a comprehensive approach because this type of crime has crossed all international borders.
Mansour stressed that international crime organizations are usually behind these types of crimes.
He added that the first step to confront cybercrime was to provide legal and legislative measures and to raise the awareness among all banks and financial institutions about this type of crime.
Mansour stressed that Lebanon is under direct threat from this type of crime as is the case of most countries around the world.
“Lebanon needs to fortify its institutions and banks to confront cybercrime. There are some draft laws pertaining to this issue that should be approved, most notably the electronic signature and digital transactions that [have been] sitting in drawers at Parliament for over 16 years,” Mansour said.
He added that Lebanese banks take full responsibility if they execute transactions through emails without notifying the customer first. Despite this, he said banks had incurred just 90 percent of the losses as a result of cybercrime.
These losses occur because there is no legal framework or law that authorizes this type of digital transaction, he said.
The statement said that a workshop on cybercrime will be held at the Central Bank Tuesday.
The workshop will discuss a manual for investigating cybercrime in Lebanon.
By Dana Halawi
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