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Cybercrime center says Smartmatic system ‘compromised’

The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center on Friday claimed that the system of poll technology provider Smartmatic has been compromised.

This was disclosed by CICC executive director Cezar Mancao II during the briefing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System.

Among the agenda of the meeting was the alleged hacking of the data of the Commission on Elections.

While CICC believes that there was indeed no hacking on the servers of the poll body, Mancao said they have found out that the system of Smartmatic was breached.

"Comelec as far as the statement of our Acting Secretary Caintic... said that there was no hacking on the Comelec servers because they are offline. We agree to that at this time, and we also have found out that there was indeed a breach of the system as we have gathered from our sources," Mancao said.

"On the contractor of the Comelec, the Smartmatic, we believe their system is compromised and that we are not also accusing them for doing it themselves at this moment," Mancao added.

Mancao requested for an executive session to discuss their findings.

Smartmatic bagged a P402.7-million contract to provide software for the May 2022 automated elections.

On the part of the Comelec, Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the poll body does not give sensitive information to Smartmatic.

"In the event there is an alleged hacking incident in our provider, we are sure our elections are still intact because we do not provide them any info," Casquejo said.

There were no Smartmatic representatives in the hearing. 

Alleged hacking of Comelec data

A January 10 report by the Manila Bulletin earlier stated that hackers allegedly gained access to the Comelec’s servers and allegedly stole crucial files including usernames and personal identification numbers of vote-counting machines.

The Comelec has maintained that there was no evidence that would support the alleged data breach.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology also said the alleged hacking incident was not possible "due to the Vote-Counting Machine (VCM) system being offline and the lack of existing data on the Automated Election System (AES) that could be breached."

The DICT said its Cybersecurity Bureau continues to monitor the alleged hacking incident and is in constant coordination with concerned agencies. — RSJ, GMA News