Friday, May 31, 2024

DICT says initial probe shows no proof of Comelec hacking

The Manila Bulletin was taken for a ride by a group of supposed hackers when it published a report claiming that the Commission on Election (Comelec) was hacked and that sensitive election data was pilfered.

Photo from DICT

This appears to be the result of an initial investigation undertaken by the Cybersecurity Bureau of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

In a statement sent to Newsbytes.PH on Wednesday, Jan. 26, the DICT validated the earlier statement of the poll body that a breach could not have happened because the supposed hacked data are not yet online.

“Preliminary findings suggest that a hack was not possible due to the Vote-Counting Machine (VCM) system being offline and the lack of existing data on the Automated Election System (AES) that could be breached,” the DICT said.

The National Privacy Commission, which has also commenced an investigation on the matter, held a meeting with the Manila Bulletin and the Comelec on Tuesday, Jan. 25. However, it has yet to issue a statement on the issue that put a stain on the credibility of the upcoming elections.

The Comelec, meanwhile, is expected to issue a statement en banc anytime now although outgoing commissioner Rowena Guanzon and spokesperson James Jimenez have repeatedly said the report was fake and that no hacking ever took place.

The DICT said it will continue to closely monitor the alleged incident and is in constant coordination with relevant agencies on the investigation of the supposed hacking incident.

“Moving forward, the DICT plans to continue its coordination with the CICC, Comelec and other concerned agencies on the matter. The DICT will undertake the necessary measures to ensure a fair and secure electoral process, and is ready to assist the Comelec on related cybersecurity concerns,” it said.

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