Comelec Hacked? Poll Body Sees No Evidence of Data Breach

The Commission on Elections said Wednesday it found no evidence that its systems were hacked, as alleged in a news report, as it assured the public that its data is "hardened and cannot be unlawfully accessed".

The poll body said it was cooperating with the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the claims in a Manila Bulletin article that more than 60 gigabytes of data were illegally downloaded from Comelec servers, which could affect the 2022 elections.

"We see no evidence of any sort of breach. But of course, we are working hard to validate these allegations because we understand how important it is," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters.

"We have confidence in the security of our systems and in the procedures that we have undertaken since 2016 to ensure that our data is hardened and cannot be unlawfully accessed," he added.

A group of hackers allegedly breached the Comelec's servers last Saturday and downloaded files including usernames and PINS of vote-counting machines, according to the Manila Bulletin eport.


"This information does not exist in our system yet. Kaya nga dudang-duda kami sa alleged hack na ito," Jimenez said.

The National Privacy Commission has asked both the Comelec and the Manila Bulletin to attend a meeting on Jan. 25 to clarify the incident, which Jimenez said the poll body was preparing for.

"It's very important for the Comelec to address it squarely and to show to everyone that our system is secure and that we are doing everything possible and necessary to make sure our data is protected," he added.

In 2016, the Comelec also fell victim to data breach which reportedly compromised the personal data of 1.3 million overseas Filipino workers as well as the fingerprints of 15.8 million people, according to global security software company Trend Micro.


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