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Source code for 2016 polls hard to hack, use for cheating – expert

A source code reviewer on Tuesday said it would be quite difficult to hack the software program in favor of one candidate in the 2016 elections.

Smartmatic has written enough security codes in the source code to make it hard for outsiders to use the system for cheating, Dr. Pablo Manalastas told the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee hearing on the Automated Election System.

“It is very difficult to prove that these programs are written to be malicious, to cheat in favor of one candidate over another. Smartmatic has put in enough security to make it hard for outsiders to use the system to cheat,” he told the panel.

But he did not belittle the possibility of cheating.

“I’m not saying... whether it is possible or not for insiders from Comelec or Smartmatic... If they want to cheat, they can easily do that,” he said.

System is so secure

“All the challenges to hack into the system... all fail, because the system is so secure. In order to be successful in hacking the system, you have to have the cooperation of people who are in charge of the databases and who have physical control of the machines. 

“You must have all the pass words and all the sign in keys,” he added.

Marlon Garcia, technology manager at Smartmatic, said there is no one person who has access to all the passwords of the source code.

Manalastas also noted the strict security procedures during the source code review even after he asked Smartmatic to give them “slightly greater freedom.” He said they were frisked and were not allowed to bring their things inside the review room.

“Don’t be suspicious that we are going to steal the Smartmatic code... That would not be possible, as your code has tens of thousands or even millions of lines of code,” he said. – Amita Legaspi/VS, GMA News