Palace denies involvement in seeding leaked Comelec data

Rachel Hermosura, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2016 11:24 PM

MANILA – Malacanang on Saturday aired its side after a screenshot of its server supposedly seeding the leaked Commission on Elections (Comelec) data went viral on social media.

Undersecretary Manolo Quezon said Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was immediately informed of the incident, adding that the Palace is conducting an investigation.

“The Executive Secretary was immediately informed on the night of April 21 at 9:55 pm of social media screenshots that purportedly showed OP’s [Office of the President] mail server being used to torrent and seed the Comelec data,” Quezon said in a Radyo ng Bayan interview Saturday.

“An investigation is being conducted by the Office of the President-MIS department. The subdomain mail.malacanag.gov.ph has been delegated to a specific mail server under the OP-MIS department since May of 2011,” he added.

According to Quezon, initial investigation showed that the seeder may have intentionally forged his host name to reflect Malacañang's server as the one downloading the stolen Comelec database.

“So far, according to the MIS department, no unusual activity has been detected, which only suggests at this point the possibility of a malicious forgery,” Quezon explained

The Palace official added that Ochoa will determine the accountability, if proven that the Palace mail server had been used to download the Comelec data.

(READ: 'Comelec data leak like giving car keys to a thief')

The screenshot purportedly showing a user with the host server 'mail.malacanang.gov.ph' earned the ire of netizens, who are already incensed over the leak of voters' personal information following last month's hacking of the Comelec website. 

Last Thursday, a website made the leaked data easily searchable. Authorities have since taken down the website. 

Copies of the leaked voter database, however, remain accessible online, and authorities have vowed to go after those in possession of the leaked data.

(READ: NBI warns against possessing leaked Comelec data)