Philippines probes hacking of poll agency ahead of election

April 12, 2016

Philippine authorities are investigating a computer security breach at the state election agency, officials said Tuesday, less than a month before the nation goes to the polls.

The March 27 incident led to certain Commission on Election files being copied by unknown hackers from its website. But the commission said the privacy of the country's 55 million registered voters was not compromised.

Its spokesman James Jimenez said investigators were still checking the potential impact on the May 9 election, which he said will go ahead as scheduled.

At a news conference, he rejected a computer security firm's report that sensitive voter data including fingerprints were leaked.

"The copied data did not include actual biometric records," Jimenez said.

The May polls will elect the successor to President Benigno Aquino. Thousands of other posts are also at stake including vice president, legislators and local executive posts.

The TrendMicro alleged on its website that the 's entire database was posted online by a hacker group after another group defaced its website.

"While initial reports have downplayed the impact of the leak, our investigations showed a huge number of sensitive personally identifiable information—including passport information and fingerprint data—were included in the data dump," it added.

Jimenez rejected TrendMicro's report, calling it "irresponsible at best".

He said the hacking was being investigated by government cybercrime experts, while the commission strengthened its defences against hackers.

It has also reprogrammed software used by voters to find the location of their precincts, he said.

In the Easter Sunday attack, the home page of the commission's website was replaced with information about a group named "Anonymous PH", Jimenez said.

A Facebook account by an entity calling itself Lulzsec Philippines later boasted that a copy of the whole database had been made available, he added.

Ronald Agulto, head of the National Bureau of Investigation's cybercrime unit, said the commission has sought help in finding, as well as filing criminal charges against, the hacker or hackers.

Explore further: Turkey to probe massive 'personal data leak'

Related Stories

Turkey to probe massive 'personal data leak'

April 6, 2016

Turkey's authorities launched a probe Wednesday into an alleged leak of the personal data of some 50 million citizens which threatens to compromise the information security of much of its population.

Hackers target Ukraine's election website

October 26, 2014

Hackers attacked Ukraine's election commission website Saturday on the eve of parliamentary polls, officials said, but they denied Russian reports that the vote counting system itself had been put out of action.

Polish election commission website hacked

November 19, 2014

Computer hackers have attacked the website of Poland's electoral commission, which is still unable to publish full returns from local elections because of an unrelated computer glitch, officials said Wednesday.

Hackers disrupt Tunisia voter registration

July 10, 2014

Hackers briefly disrupted the online voter registration process for Tunisia's parliamentary and presidential polls later this year, the electoral commission said on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.