Hack attacks against the Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) website are stoking fears about user data breaches.
The attacks happened toward the end of last month. On March 27th, Anonymous Philippines’ defaced the website, reportedly to raise the alarm over user data security; only hours after that incident, a group called Lulzsec Pilipinas posted what it claimed to be sensitive Comelec databases online, suggesting that vast amounts of registered voters’ data had been exposed.
For its part, Comelec has asserted that it cannot yet verify whether the posted data is indeed stolen from its databases, and has suggested that most of it cannot be used for criminal purposes. According to Rappler, in some sections of the posted data voter information such as name and voter ID number had been encrypted, while in others it was visible.
It isn’t yet clear if voters’ biometric data is included in the breach. Over the last several months, Comelec had conducted an intensive campaign to register such data in anticipation of the country’s first biometric election, an effort that proved controversial in some quarters; therefore a breach of that data could prove disastrous with respect to public perception at the very least.
Comelec is currently working with the National Bureau of Investigation to determine the full extent of the data breach.
April 8, 2016 by Alex Perala