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Comelec seeks NBI help vs hackers

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections yesterday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the hacking of the Comelec’s website last Sunday.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they have referred the case to the NBI’s cybercrime division as a group identifying itself as “LulzSec” has claimed uploading parts of the Comelec’s database to its Facebook account.

“That matter has actually been referred to the NBI cybercrimes. So right now, the first step really is to validate whether or not the data they posted are authentic… At this point, I really don’t know if it’s the real deal and that’s the first thing that we want to find out,” Jimenez said. 

The NBI, however, said it has yet to receive the request from the Comelec.

“None yet,” said Victor Lorenzo, executive officer of the NBI’s cybercrime division.

However, Lorenzo stressed the communication between the NBI and the Comelec should be established and secured before the hacking incident is investigated.

“We have to check if the logs on the website have been restored. Comelec may have kept some of them while restoring the website for security,” Lorenzo said.

In its Facebook account, LulzSec posted “A great lol (laugh out loud) to the Commission on Elections, here’s your whoooole database.”

LulzSec, reportedly affiliated with hacker group Anonymous Philippines, hacked the Comelec’s website, leaked the voter database and demanded that the poll body make the May 9 elections credible.

The website is still accessible but the precinct finder search engine, which publishes assigned precincts of registered voters based on their names and birthdays, is still “under maintenance.”

Jimenez said the Comelec has not restored the website as it is undertaking a cleanup.

“But it’s not been hacked again,” Jimenez said. “I think that’s the most important thing. We’re just undergoing maintenance right now. It’s not yet 100 percent back to normal but we’re working on it.”

Jimenez said the election website would be highly secured in time for the upcoming polls.

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