Online lending platform Cashalo has reported a security incident involving a company-only database archive on Saturday, February 20. In a statement emailed to Esquire Philippines, the company said an individual claimed to be in possession of a Cashalo customer database taken from a non-production system used by the company. 

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"This incident resulted in unauthorized access to a database archive that contained some personal data of Cashalo customers, including some combination of usernames, email, phone numbers, device ID, and encrypted passwords," the company said. "Our encryption implementation ensured that no customer accounts or passwords were compromised." 

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Cashalo said it has since taken the system offline and has launched an investigation into the incident. It said it is working closely with cybersecurity experts as well as relevant authorities, including the National Privacy Commission.

"Our teams are currently conducting a thorough impact assessment with urgency to determine the nature and extent of data that has been potentially accessed," it said. "Protecting the data and privacy of our users is of utmost importance to us.

"We are notifying affected individuals about this incident consistent with our goal of being transparent," it added. "Our priority is to work directly with stakeholders to provide support and help them manage any potential risks." 

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Cashalo is a mobile credit app that grants quicky and easy cash loans to customers. The digital process allows Cashalo to approve and disburse a loan within minutes, a process that would normally take a bank several days. It offers loan products that addresses the needs of many financially challenged Filipinos.

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The company is a joint venture between Oriente, a Hong Kong-based firm founded by the heads of Skype and LU.com, and local conglomerate JG Summit Holdings of the Gokongwei family. (Female Network and Esquire Philippines are published by Summit Media, which is a subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings).

According to a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cashalo has grown over 20 percent each month since its launch in 2017. As of March 2020, the app has been downloaded over 6.5 million times while its user base has expanded to over 2.5 million.

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