Friday, May 31, 2024

In House hearing, Smartmatic denies its system was hacked

A lawyer for poll machines provider Smartmatic has rejected claims that its election system was hacked during an online hearing on Monday, March 21, conducted by the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.

Smartmatic legal counsel Christopher Louie Ocampo

Senators Imee Marcos and Vicente “Tito” Sotto earlier claimed that an executive session they attended gave them the impression the Smartmatic system was breached.

But Smartmatic legal counsel Christopher Louie Ocampo issued a statement that categorically rejected this claim, stating that its Automated Election System (AES) source code and software were subjected to extensive audits both locally and internationally.

Ocampo also said that servers and infrastructure of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) were independent and that the poll body never shares electoral data with Smartmatic.

The statement also mentioned that no hacking took place in their own system, and that data provided by their former employee is completely unrelated to Philippine elections.

“He downloaded non-sensitive, day-to-day operational materials from a repository readily available to all Smartmatic staff,” according to the statement.

Ocampo also said that the hacking claim came from a Facebook page of a group known as “XSOX” filled with false information.

For his part, committee member Lawrence Fortun said that if the hacking claim is proven to be false, those who proliferated the allegations should be held accountable for their actions.

“The integrity of the election process should be safeguarded at all times,” he said in a statement.

It was the Manila Bulletin which published in January about the alleged hacking of the Comelec servers – a claim immediately refuted by the poll body. The Yap family -owned newspaper was the lone media entity to publish the story, which only mentioned Comelec and did not contain any reference to Smartmatic.

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