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Republic of the Philippines Commission on Elections (Comelec) Believed to be Hacked

The Filipino government may have to navigate some challenges for the upcoming 2022 election as it was learned that servers that stored data for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were accessed by an unauthorized party. It is believed that more than 60 gigabytes of data was downloaded. It was reported that an ongoing attack that started on January 8th was occurring on the Comelec servers, and that data was being stolen. Affected data includes usernames and PINS of vote-counting machines (VCM) along with 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. While this information has not yet been verified by Comelec themselves, it is alarming, nonetheless. A full report is expected to be released by Comelec by the end of the week.

Analyst Notes

If this information proves to be valid, Comelec will be facing some major issues. Passwords should be immediately reset or changed as soon as possible. Pins of voting machines were also believed to be included, and if this is true, voting machines may not be used for the upcoming election. This will cause difficulties not only for voters, but also for those having to count the votes by hand. It will be interesting to see what Comelec reveals in their anticipated report due later in the week.