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Comelec reassures public: Hacking won't affect PCOS machines


Amid recent attacks on Philippine and Taiwanese websites in the last two days, the Commission on Elections Chairman allayed fears the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines to be used in Monday's elections may be affected by hackers.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said there is a very small window for would-be hackers to successfully gain access to the machines, much less alter their content.

"Matagal na namin sinabi yan, hindi maha-hack ang PCOS machine," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Since Saturday, several Philippine and Taiwan sites have been inaccessible, days after a Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead by Philippine forces during an encounter in disputed waters.

Brillantes said they already took precautions such as installing the firmware two months before the elections, to thwart hackers who need at least six months to break into the system.

At worst, he said hackers could break into one or two machines but it would not have much effect on the counting.

"It would take a conspiracy of so many people to hack it," he said.

Meanwhile, Brillantes said he has been informed the Comelec website, www.comelec.gov.ph, should have no more problems.

The Comelec website, which has a tool that lets visitors locate their precincts, was inaccessible since Saturday. It was still inaccessible as of 8 a.m. Sunday. — LBG, GMA News
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