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NBI arrests second Comelec hacker

The National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI's) Cybercrime Division on Friday morning arrested a second hacker allegedly responsible for the leaking of voters' data from the Commission on Elections website last March.

GMA's John Consulta, in his report on GMA News TV Live, said that NBI Cybercrime Division executive officer Pete Lorenzo identified the suspect as Jonel de Asis, 23, an IT expert.

De Asis was arrested Thursday night at his home in Muntinlupa City by virtue of a search warrant.

In an interview with GMA News, Consulta said De Asis confirmed being behind the hacking of the Comelec website.

The suspect said he just wanted to show the website's weaknesses and prod the Comelec into action to protect its data.

Laywer Ronaldo Aguto of NBI Cybercrime Division said that they had a hard time tracking down the second hacker.

NBI spokesman Nick Suarez said the suspect is 23 years old, the same age as the first suspect, Paul Loui Biteng, an Information Technology graduate who was arrested in an NBI operation at his home in Sampaloc, Manila last week.

NBI Director VIrgilio Mendez and Comelec chairman Andres Bautista talked with the suspect in a closed-door meeting.

Bautista said De Asis had confessed to them as being the mastermind in the hacking of the Comelec website and stealing 340-gigabyte worth of data from the poll body.

According to Bautista, De Asis said he and his companions merely wanted to prove that the Comelec website can easily be breached.

Seized from De Asis were his personal computer and mobile phone. The NBI said apart from Biteng and De Asis, its invetsigators are still hunting down a third suspect.

Biteng currently faces charges of illegal access to computer system; data interference; and misuse of devices, under Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The NBI probe has been launched focusing on the data supposedly stolen from Comelec and leaked online.

Following Biteng's arrest, hackers took the allegedly stolen Comelec data and re-posted it online as a searchable database on an independent site.

The site was activated on the same day that the NBI arrested Biteng.

The Comelec website was defaced on March 27 by intruders who claimed affiliation with the notorious hacker group Anonymous Philippines.

The hackers also claimed to have stolen some 55 million voters' records that could be used for phishing and identity theft. —With Amita Legaspi/KG/TJD/RSJ, GMA News