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Comelec firewall strong vs hacking, says Jimenez

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While brushing off the alleged breach, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday disclosed its coordination with the various government agencies that could probe the veracity of reports of hacking of the poll body’s website.

In an interview with Daily Tribune’s morning program, Gising Na!, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said coordination has been made with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and other agencies on the incident.

“First of all, the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) because we are looking at whether it has a criminal aspect. If we can find someone who can be charged with this alleged breach because it is not only the breach itself that is the case here, as well as undermining confidence in the public for this coming election. So, we will find a solution,” he said.

“Second, we interact with the DICT. Because the DICT is the premier scientific organization in the whole country and they have control over our website, which means that if it turns out that there was a breach, the DICT will be the first to be hit.” Jimenez said.

The poll body is also communicating with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to ensure the credibility of the poll body’s system.
“We also communicate with NPC to make sure there is no leakage of private or personal information. This is important for maintaining the credibility of our system,” he said.

Jimenez added that the alleged hacking of the Comelec website could be considered an election offense, where anyone found guilty could be imprisoned, fined, or not allowed to run for public office.

“That is just one possible case that can be filed. Some people are talking about election sabotage which is a serious offense,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez reiterated that there is no proof that the Comelec website has been hacked.

“Based on our ongoing evaluation, there is no proof that hacking has occurred,” he said.

He disclosed that the Comelec website has a layered firewall being supported by the DICT, and has a structure that only contains publicly accessible information.

“The main thing is of course the DICT’s layered firewall, it has Cloudflare — it has a firewall, it has active defenses. Of course, we can’t detail that but it’s there, it’s in place, it’s happening,” Jimenez said.

“At the same time, in the structure of the website we have removed all interactivity, it is no longer an interactive website, it is a static website.
This means that there is no private information available there. The info on the website is all publicly accessible info,” he added.

“We have information there, for example on what is happening in the Comelec, but all of that has been stripped.”

The poll body earlier debunked the claims that it had lost its vital information and data, such as downloaded files containing 60 gigabytes of data that included usernames and PIN of vote-counting machines, among others.

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