Since it is election year in the United States, I thought it was important to write about the recent data breach at Comelec (Commission of Elections) in the Philippines. The PII of 55 million registered Filipino voters was compromised after the hacking of the Comelec website on March 27th. Reports are suggesting that all registered Filipino voters are now vulnerable to fraud and other risks due to the sensitivity of the information leaked.
The group responsible is thought to be the hacktivist group Anonymous Philippines. Shortly after the hack, another hacking group named Lulzsec Pilipinas, leaked the database on Facebook and provided links to download it.
James Jimenez, the Comelec spokesperson, initially downplayed the severity of the hack by claiming that sensitive information of registered voters was not compromised. It was later discovered that PII, which include, passport information and fingerprints, was found in the database.
The type of information leaked in this hack can be used to extort citizens. Imagine if your passport information and fingerprint marks fell into the wrong hands. It’s bad enough when you have to dump your over sized bottle of expensive shampoo at an airport security checkpoint, so imagine if something more serious came up! As registered voters, this is hack represents a serious threat to national security. The real question is, what are we doing to prevent this from happening in the USA!