2nd ‘Comeleak’ hacker nabbed
The National Bureau of Investigation has arrested a second person involved in the hacking of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) voters database and official website.
Picked up at his Muntinlupa home Thursday night was Joenel de Asis, 23, a system integration engineer at a semiconductor firm, who allegedly downloaded the Comelec’s 340-gigabyte data file and uploaded it to a public Facebook account.
De Asis defended himself, saying he was “out to prove that the Comelec files were not secure.”
Earlier, the NBI arrested Paul Biteng, 23, a recent information technology graduate, for cracking Comelec’s official website and defacing it.
NBI director Virgilio Mendez said De Asis’ arrest completed the picture: “We are warning the public against further spread of [hacked] information. You can be arrested and charged if you do that,” he said.
Mendez added that this “should serve as warning to those who want to follow the footsteps of De Asis and Biteng.”
In a press conference, Vic Lorenzo, NBI cybercrime division executive officer, said De Asis was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by a Malabon trial court. He did not resist arrest.
The NBI confiscated De Asis’ computer and cell phone.
Earlier, the Comelec insisted the hacking of their data files would not compromise the coming national election.
“These files, or the database (that was hacked), is different from the computer system that would be used in the May 9 voting,” poll officials countered.
Privacy Commission chief Mon Liboro, who was also present during the NBI briefing, said the government was now studying how to strengthen the safeguards of all its websites.
Election watchdogs have been monitoring the security of the Comelec’s automated election system.
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