Facebook page Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB) has warned the public not to continue accessing the online passport appointment web page of the Department of Foreign Affairs because it is not secure.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, PAB made the announcement about the expired SSL certificate of the website www.passport.gov.ph.
“As of 0934 Saturday, 20 May 2017 DFA still doesn’t have a renewed SSL certificate. It expired on 12 May 2017,” PAB wrote.
PAB warned the public that using such an unsecure website may make them vulnerable to hacking.
“Hanggang ngayon wala pa din pong SSL ang DFA, mag ingat po ang mga mag aapply ng passport. Baka mahack po data nyo. #PleaseShare,” the page added.
In a separate Facebook post, PAB expressed his anger at the new Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano for the failed, unsecure DFA website that could put passport applicants and OFWs in danger.
“Ipapahamak nyo pa mga OFW at mga nag aapply ng passport sa kapabayaan nyo!” PAB wrote.
In his blog post, PAB explained what an SSL is and how a website with an SSL looks like.
“SSL. SSL means Secure Socket Layer. Certificate siya na nag enable ng encryption. So when you connect to a site may privacy yung connection mo. Ikaw lang and yung website yung naguusap. So kung nag send ka ng credit card info mo, or pangalan mo sa website— kahit comment lang. walang makakarinig ng conversation ninyo ng website. Yan yung may padlock sa browser. Minsan color green (excellent quality) or black/gray yung ordinay na certificate,” PAB wrote.
PAB also discussed the importance of SSL.
“Important siya for passport.gov.ph kasi nag send ka ng personal information mo. Address, birthday, passport ID number. etc. So sensitive information yun na pupuwede magamit ng mga magnanakaw if stolen,” he added.
Since the SSL certificate of the passport.gov.ph site expired on May 12, this rendered the connection as not secure, which might cause hackers to easily obtain the passport applicants’ personal information.