Lacson to Comelec: Guard vs Effects of Smartmatic Hacking

While its servers may not have been hacked after all, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) must remain on guard against possible unauthorized access to its data as the May polls draw closer.

Partido Reporma standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson noted the Comelec will soon be interfacing with contractor Smartmatic, whose system was believed compromised.

Lacson said that while his cybersecurity team’s initial findings indicate extortion is the possible motive of the hack, the integrity of the May elections will be endangered if the Comelec does not put safeguards in place.

Related: Ping: Comelec, Kailangan Ng Mas Pinaigting na Pagbabantay Laban sa Hacking

“Darating ang panahon na mag-interface yan. Pag nag-interface, maaaring ma-compromise din ang Comelec. Yan ang nakakatakot (The time will come that the Comelec and Smartmatic’s systems will interface, and Comelec’s systems may be affected if they are not patched. That is a scary scenario),” Lacson said in an interview on DWIZ radio Saturday.

He said the initial information from his technical team showed that the systems of Smartmatic were hacked, with extortion as the possible motive. “Pero hindi ganoon kasimple (It’s not that simple),” he added.

Lacson said his team is now studying the extent of the hack on Smartmatic’s systems, adding Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center Undersecretary Cezar Mancao II has more explaining to do before lawmakers on the matter.

“Dapat lang talaga ipaliwanag lahat. Integridad ng eleksyon ang nakataya rito. What if may isang kandidato na doon ibinenta kung anong nahawakan ng sindikato? Hindi ba napakadelikado (He should explain everything. The integrity of the May elections is at stake. What if the hackers who compromised Smartmatic sold the data to a candidate? Isn’t that dangerous)?” he said.