Comelec downplays hacking of website


Posted at Mar 28 2016 12:32 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday downplayed an attack by hacker group Anonymous Philippines that defaced its website on Sunday night.

In an interview with dzMM, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said the hackers failed to access any confidential information which may derail the May 9 elections.

"I was told wala naman daw confidential information na nakuha. Kumbaga, hindi naman ito makakaapekto sa aming paghahanda para sa ating darating na halalan," he said.

In the message posted on the website, Anonymous Philippines lashed out at the poll body for rejecting some of the security features needed in the automated polls.

The group also claimed obtaining the voter database from the website's voting precinct finder.

But Bautista said that the group did not need to hack the website to get a hold of the voter database. A copy of the voter database may be requested from the Comelec for public use, he said.

The Comelec chief said the breach of their website system is no extraordinary feat, noting that other local and foreign government websites have also fallen to hacker attacks.

"Alam din naman natin na itong pagha-hack ng mga public website ay nangyari na sa mga ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan -- hindi lang dito sa atin kundi maging sa ibang bansa," he said.

LOOK: Hacked PIA website releases false news


The official added that they are doing their best to ensure the credibility of the synchronized national and local polls.

"Lahat po ng mga safeguard na nasa Automated Election Law natin ay ating ipapatupad nitong darating na halalan," he said.

Anonymous Philippines has called on the Comelec to implement the security features of the vote-counting machines (VCM). The poll body has taken initial steps to issue voters' receipts, even before the hacking.

READ: Comelec starts preps for printing voter receipts

The Comelec has launched an investigation on the hacking. Its website has also been restored.