NBI ‘convinced’ no hacking in Comelec system | Inquirer News
No data breach

NBI ‘convinced’ no hacking in Comelec system

/ 04:57 AM January 17, 2022

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) second division will handle two other petitions to disqualify presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the upcoming elections. 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the National Bureau of Investigation said they found no evidence of hacking at the Comelec’s automated elections system warehouse.


Representatives from the Comelec and the NBI inspected the Comelec warehouse in Santa Rosa, Laguna, on Saturday.

“We checked the configuration and testing areas. We are convinced no hacking happened here,” Eric Distor, the officer in charge of NBI, told reporters afterwards.


Elections Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the data that were supposedly stolen from the commission’s database was not even generated in the Comelec system, repeating a claim earlier put forward by the poll body.

“They (NBI agents) saw that our system is stand-alone,” Casquejo told reporters. “It’s not connected to the internet or any network. And we have not yet generated the data so you can’t steal it because there is no such data generated in [the] Santa Rosa [warehouse].”

“Our servers were not hacked. Fake news,” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon insisted on Sunday as she retweeted a news story about the warehouse inspection.

According to a report by the Manila Bulletin on Jan. 10, hackers have downloaded on Jan. 8 more than 60 gigabytes of data from Comelec servers, supposedly including the usernames and personal identification numbers of vote-counting machines to be used in the May 9 elections.

The report spurred Malacañang, Congress, and political candidates to demand an investigation while the National Privacy Commission scheduled a hearing on Jan. 25.

But Comelec, through its spokesperson James Jimenez, said on Jan. 10 that they doubted a data breach although they asked the NBI to validate the Manila Bulletin report.

“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.


Comelec also asked the NBI to track down the alleged hackers that contacted the Manila Bulletin.

On Jan. 12, Jimenez declared Comelec was “confident” that its servers had not been hacked, saying “we see no evidence of any sort of data breach.”

At the same time, the poll body warned it will “pursue all available remedies against those who, either deliberately or otherwise, undermine the integrity of the electoral process.”

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