MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking into reports that its systems have been compromised.
“With no independent verification that a hack has indeed taken place, one thing immediately stands out: the article alleges that the hackers were able to ‘download files that included, among others, usernames and PINS (personal identification numbers) of vote-counting machines,’” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement late Monday, referring to the report published by a newspaper about the supposed hacking.
“The fact, however, is that such information still does not exist in Comelec systems simply because the configuration files – which includes usernames and PINs – have not yet been completed.”
However, there is a need to check the veracity of the report, Jimenez said.
“This calls into question the veracity of the hacking claim. As for the rest of the allegations made, please note that the article offers scant substantiation for its assertions despite claiming that the authors had ‘verified that there was an ongoing hack.’ Indeed, the article does not even offer proof of such verification,” he added.
He also assured the public of the poll body’s full and scrupulous compliance with the Data Privacy Act, as well as its continuing cooperation with the National Privacy Commission.
At the same time, Jimenez invited the authors to shed light on their allegations, particularly the “verification” they claim to have carried out.
“Considering that ‘news’ like this could potentially damage the credibility of the elections, the Comelec stands ready to pursue all available remedies against those who, either deliberately or otherwise, undermine the integrity of the electoral process,” he said.
He assured that the poll body will continue its efforts to validate the assertions stated in the article. (PNA)