Thursday, July 18, 2024

Lacson’s cybersecurity team says Comelec servers not hacked

Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo Lacson said his in-house cybersecurity team has found that servers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were not hacked, contrary to the report of the Manila Bulletin.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson
Photo from Senate

Lacson’s cybersecurity team is the fourth entity to declare that there was no breach of the Comelec servers. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have earlier stated that no hacking occurred.

The Comelec, through spokesperson James Jimenez and commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Casquejo, have also repeatedly stated that the Manila Bulletin report was false. As of posting time, however, the Yap family-owned newspaper is sticking to its guns and has so far refused to issue a retraction.

Lacson said while Comelec’s servers may not have been hacked, the poll body should remain on guard against possible unauthorized access to its data as the May polls draw closer.

Lacson noted the Comelec will soon be interfacing with Smartmatic, whose system was believed to have been compromised as alleged by the CICC.

He said the initial information from his technical team showed that the systems of Smartmatic were hacked, with extortion as the possible motive.

Lacson said his team is now studying the extent of the hack on Smartmatic’s systems, adding CICC chief Cezar Mancao II has more explaining to do before lawmakers on the matter.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker also called on the Philippine Statics Authority to explain the delay in the delivery of National ID cards, after posting on Twitter that he finally received his card last Friday, Jan. 28.

Lacson — who got his PhilSys card nearly a year after he applied for it on Feb. 4, 2021 — also noted other netizens, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), have inquired where and how they can apply for their ID cards.

“As the implementing agency of the PhilSys Act, the PSA should address these issues as soon as possible. It should expedite the printing and delivery of the National ID cards. It must also renew and intensify its information drive on how Filipinos can apply for them,” Lacson said.

He added that while in his case, the birthdate on his card appeared inaccurate, he remains hopeful the National ID system overall will mean better access to social services and protection from crime and corruption.

“Finally, I got my national ID card yesterday. Being an author and the principal sponsor of the Philsys Act, I hope it will help immensely improve social services, our government’s fight against crime and corruption and most importantly, public service in general,” Lacson said on his Twitter account Saturday, Jan. 29.

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