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No hacking took place at Comelec warehouse in Laguna – NBI

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said no hacking took place at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) warehouse in Laguna, according to John Consulta’s “24 Oras Weekend” report on Saturday.

Representatives from the NBI and Comelec conducted a site inspection at the commission’s warehouse in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on Saturday amid reports of alleged hacking of data for the May 2022 polls.

“Tinignan natin yung configuration saka testing area, we are convinced na hindi rito nangyari, walang nangyaring hacking,” NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor said.

(We looked at the configuration and the testing area. We are convinced that it did not happen here. No hacking happened here.)

In a separate statement, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the NBI cybercrime division and special project team have been promptly mobilized after the Comelec sought the NBI's assistance.

“Certain documents were turned over to the NBI for validation and authentication. A thorough investigation is now in progress,” Guevarra said.

The NBI will also conduct a digital forensic examination of several equipment.

“We have tasked our cybercrime division as well as the NCR (National Capital Region) and special project team to closely coordinate with the Comelec. We are closely coordinating with the proper authorities through their IT for any development,” Distor said.

Meanwhile, the poll body assured that its system was not linked to the internet or any other network that could expose it to hacking.

“Nakita naman nila na stand alone yung ating system is not connected in the internet or any network and itong aming data is hindi pa nag-gegenerate so wala ka pang puwedeng makuha dito kasi wala pa tayong data na nagenerate dito sa Sta. Rosa,” Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said.

(The NBI checked our system, and it showed that it can stand alone. It is not connected to the internet or any network and our data is not yet generated so they cannot get anything here because we don't have data generated yet here in Sta. Rosa.)

The Manila Bulletin earlier published a report which claimed that upon its verification, Comelec data — network diagrams, IP addresses, list of all privileged users, and domain admin credentials, among others — were hacked.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said on Monday the authors of the report had been invited to shed light on their information, “particularly with regard to the ‘verification’ they claim to have carried out.”

"With no independent verification that a hack has indeed taken place, one thing immediately stands out: the article alleges that the hackers were able to 'download files that included, among others, usernames and PINS of vote-counting machines (VCM)'," he said.

"The fact, however, is that such information still does not exist in Comelec systems simply because the configuration files - which includes usernames and PINs - have not yet been completed," Jimenez said.

The commission has assured the public of its “full and scrupulous compliance with the Data Privacy Act, as well as its continuing cooperation with the National Privacy Commission (NPC).” — Richa Noriega/VBL, GMA News