The Dangers Faced by Registered Voters after Massive COMELEC Hacking

A group of hackers were able to ‘easily’ penetrate the website of the government agency responsible for gathering, maintaining, and securing the data of millions of registered voters in the Philippines.

But aside from simply bragging about the massive hack on social media and defacing the landing page of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the hackers also shared information from the database through a website which, as of press time, has already been taken down (possibly by the authorities).

Here’s a cached copy by Google of the landing page of the site used by the hackers to share sensitive/personal information of registered voters in the Philippines:

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Now, a lot of people do not really have any idea what’s so scary about this hacking incident since we have all heard a lot of news about some groups hacking various websites in the past, threatening to share the site’s database to the public. After all, such information are often only useful for IT experts and other hackers, anyway, since we don’t really know what to do with these data.

But the COMELEC hack is different because personal information of millions of voters have been compromised – and the hackers shared the hacked database on the internet, too!

This is VERY SERIOUS, guys! Because there are a lot of things that people with ill intentions can do using the data from the COMELEC hack!

Identity Theft

A lot of us might not be surprised when in some near future, someone would be posing on Facebook or other social media sites as us – and they would even have correct information like our complete name, birthday, spouse, and home address!

While that might sound a bit funny, it would be quite serious if that poser engages in malicious/evil acts on social media and the internet under the stolen identity! For example, there have been reports in the past of posers gaining romantic partners on the internet, then, extorting money from these fake ‘fiancés’ who later realized they were scammed.

Major Financial Identity Theft

It is common knowledge that one can easily obtain fake but authentic-looking ID cards at Recto.

Now, if scrupulous individuals have obtained data from the COMELEC hack (which includes not just voters’ full names but other important information such as home address, birthday, and possibly their maiden names and their mothers’ maiden names), then someone could make these fake IDs and pose as this person and do a lot of crazy stuff!

Someone could open a credit card, get a checking account and issue checks, obtain high-end phone units from service providers, or even get car loans (vehicle down payments are so cheap these days!) under your name – and you would have no idea until it is too late and these financial institutions are already going after you to pay the money you supposedly owe them.

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Do you think that is not possible? Well, do you remember that public school teacher who incurred debts amounting to Php800,000 ($17,100) after sharing his PRC ID on Facebook? Such could also happen to just about anyone of the registered voters whose data were shared by the hackers on the web!

Criminal Identity Theft

Aside from identity theft for financial gains, it is quite scary to consider that criminals could use your name as alias when they are apprehended by the police for some crime they committed – and unsuspecting victims will be shocked to find out they have a standing arrest warrant for a crime they had never committed!

More Troubles

There could be a whole lot of other troubles that could happen to anyone of us after the COMELEC database was leaked to the public.

While it is possible, of course, to prove in court that you did not commit these crimes or take out those loans, etc., victims will surely be spending their own time and money to win the case. With the current justice system in the country, it would possibly take years before we can prove our innocence in court!

This could mean that those who do not have money to pay for bail will languish in jail and be forced to pay ‘their’ debts even if they hadn’t seen even a single peso of that loan!

This is really terrible!