The official website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was hacked two times, within just 12 hours. The first hacking happened this Sunday, March 27, while the second one occurred before midnight of Monday, March 28. Apparently, the second group of hackers was able to reveal some Comelec data and are available for download.
The Comelec website (www.comelec.gov.ph) was hacked by Anonymous Philippines at around 11:30 am, Sunday, and went back to normal between 8 and 9 pm that day. While the site was down, a message on the homepage asks the Comelec to make sure that the upcoming 2016 elections will be safe from cheating. Below is the content of the message.
“The Constitution so asserts that “Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” One of the processes by which people exercise their sovereignty is through voting in an election- where people choose the candidates who will best represent them, who will serve them under the principle that “Public office is a public trust.” But what happens when the electoral process is so mired with questions and controversies? Can the government still guarantee that the sovereignty of the people is upheld? We request the implementation of security features of the PCOS machines. Commission on Elections, we are watching!”
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On its official Facebook page, Anonymous Philippines emphasized that the group is not endorsing any political candidate, and that no one paid them to hack the Comelec website. Instead, they said they love Philippines just like any Filipino, and that all they want is to remind the Comelec the importance of having a clean and honest election.
On the other hand, Comelec website was hacked again before midnight of Monday, March 28, this time by Lulzsec Pilipinas. But instead of leaving a message, the group exposed various Comelec data, voter data, voter registration data, and other databases. All the files can be downloaded, but require very huge memory storage.
“A great lol to Commission on Elections, here’s your whoooooole database.” A message reads on the official Facebook page of Lulzsec Pilipinas, along with three mirror links to an index of files from Comelec’s website. According to the message at the README.TXT, the data is 340GB when extracted, but some of them are encrypted.
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Credit: Lulzsec Pilipinas Facebook
Meanwhile, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez stressed out that the security features of the website is not as tight as the voting process which he said that it really should be secured..He added that the data is after all open to the public, and that the Comelec website is not the same site where the election results will be uploaded.
Incidentally, this is not the first that Anonymous Philippines and Lulzsec Pilipinas have attacked government websites. In 2011, both groups hacked the official website of the Philippine Broadcasting Service, the radio network of the Philippine government. On Facebook, Lulzsec Pilipinas said they will later leak the financial accounts of Comelec officials.