Philippine authorities claimed to have arrested 23 old college student, Paul Biteng who is accused of hacking the Philippines Commission on Elections website [Comelec].
Anonymous Member Arrested For The Comelec Website Hack
To recall, COMELEC hack was carried on March 27, when the members of the hacktivist group Anonymous Philippines vandalized the website and left a warning message that some corrupt government officials try to abuse PSCOC (Precinct Count Optical Scan) devices to manipulate votes in the upcoming Presidential election.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) confirmed the arrest of Biteng who is accused of hacking the Comelec website. The director of NBI, Virgilio Mendez said that the suspected hacker was arrested on Wednesday night with the help of intelligence collected by the NBI Cybercrime Division.
The 23 year old IT graduate Biteng is now in NBI custody was arrested at his house along G. Tuazon and Miguelin streets in Sampaloc, Manila at past 7 p.m.
He will be charged for violation of Section 4A-1 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which involves “illegal access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right.”
During arrest, authorities also confiscated his personal computer which will be subjected to digital forensic examination in order to check his activity before, during and after the hacking.
He was labeled as a member of the hacktivist group, Anonymous Philippines, Biteng had an unusual request when was presented to NBI Director Virgilio Mendez.
“He even took a selfie with me. He asked me, ‘Sir, can I have my picture taken with you?’” Mendez said, shaking his head as he recalled his meeting with the suspect.
Comelec Chairman, Andres Bautista in a press conference said that the hacker has confessed to have defaced the Comelec website on March 27. The group also posted message on the website which criticized the poll body for discarding some of the security features of the automated polls. They said they wanted to show the hacking may reveal the vulnerability of the whole electoral process, which has gone automated.
“He wanted to show how vulnerable the website is to hacking,” Bautista said. “He wanted the Comelec to make sure the security features of the vote counting machines would be implemented during the election.”
After hacking icndent took place, data from the COMELEC website was posted on the wehaveyourdata.com website which permitted the users to search the private details of any Flipino voter. The Philippine authorities have taken down the website.