Marcos presses probe of Comelec ‘hacking’ | #computerhacking | #hacking | #education | #technology | #infosec

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SEN. Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos on Sunday pressed for a joint congressional probe on the reported hacking of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) servers.

She raised the need to convene the joint congressional oversight committee (JCOC) amid a report that the country’s automated election system (AES) has been hacked and may lead to a failure of elections.

The senator filed a resolution last week to investigate the conflicting media report and government denial that personal data privacy and cybersecurity controls in Comelec servers were breached.

Hackers claimed to have gained access to 60 gigabytes of sensitive AES data on Comelec personnel, local and overseas Filipino voters, vote counting machines and voting precincts. But the commission insisted that its servers remain secure.

“The vast degree of hacking reportedly involved has fanned rumors that certain local and foreign groups are flirting with a failure of elections scenario,” Marcos said in a statement.

The JCOC and the electoral reforms committee “will get to the bottom of this,” said the chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation.

“I fear a failure of elections could be declared and a constitutional crisis would arise if our election system has indeed been severely compromised,” she said.

A record number of 67 million registered Filipino voters may be deprived of their right to elect a new president, vice president and Congress in May, Marcos warned.

“Despite the uncertainty, we hang on to President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s promise during last month’s global Summit for Democracy that honest, peaceful, credible and free elections will push through,” she said.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, a failure of elections can be declared due to fraud.

Republic Act 7166 also states that the “causes for the declaration of a failure of election may occur before or after the casting of votes or on the day of the election.”

Among the government agencies and private groups that Marcos wants to attend the upcoming hearing are the Comelec, the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, and the National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division.

She also wants to invite the Manila Bulletin, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, National Movement for Free Elections, Legal Network for Truthful Elections, Democracy Watch and the Center for People Empowerment in Governance/AES Watch.

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