The Commission on Elections on Monday said it was verifying the alleged hacking of the poll body's servers, resulting in the downloading of data that could potentially affect the 2022 elections, as claimed in a news report.
"The Comelec is presently validating the allegations of the article published by the Manila Bulletin, specifically whether Comelec systems have, in fact, been compromised," spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.
A group of hackers allegedly breached the Comelec's servers last Saturday and downloaded files including usernames and PINS of vote-counting machines, the Manila Bulletin said in its report.
"The other downloaded files were network diagrams, IP addresses, list of all privileged users, domain admin credentials, list of all passwords and domain policies, access to the ballot handling dashboard, and QR code captures of the bureau of canvassers with login and password," the report added.
The Manila Bulletin's Technews team immediately reported the incident to Comelec after they found out about it.
Jimenez, however, said that the information that the hackers illegally downloaded still does not exist in the Comelec systems as the configuration files, which include usernames and PINs, have not yet been completed.
"As for the rest of the allegations made, please note that the article offers scant substantiation for its assertions despite claiming that the authors had 'verified that there was an ongoing hack.' Indeed, the article does not even offer proof of such verification," he added.
Jimenez said Comelec would continue validating the allegations made in the Manila Bulletin article as it assured the public that the poll body is fully compliant with the Data Privacy Act.
He also invited the authors of the article to shed light on the allegations in the story, especially on the claim that they have verified the breach.
"Considering that 'news' like this could potentially damage the credibility of the elections, the Comelec stands ready to pursue all available remedies against those who, either deliberately or otherwise, undermine the integrity of the electoral process," he added.
In 2016, the Comelec also fell victim to data breach which reportedly compromised the personal data of 1.3 million overseas Filipino workers as well as the fingerprints of 15.8 million people according to global security software company Trend Micro.