Hackers claiming they can manipulate 2022 polls fall in Cavite, Laguna
MANILA, Philippines — Three hackers who claimed they can breach the Commission on Election (Comelec) system and manipulate the outcome of the 2022 elections were arrested in Cavite and Laguna, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) said on Tuesday.
A report read during CICC’s briefing by agency executive director Undersecretary Cezar Mancao II and Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) head Brig. Gen. Robert Rodriguez said that the operation was conducted on April 23, with CICC and PNP-ACG agents posing as clients to buy the stolen data.
Aside from interfering with Comelec, the hackers also claimed that they can change the election results by accessing the system of Smartmatic, the country’s automated poll system provider.
“On 23 April 2022, at around 2 p.m., cybercrime investigation and coordinating center together with the PNP Anti Cybercrime Group, conducted an entrapment operation in Imus Cavite and Sta. Rosa Laguna against notorious hackers named ‘XSOS group’ who are claiming to have illegally accessed the Smartmatic system, and can influence the result of the coming national elections on May 9,” a CICC officer read.
“The entrapment operations resulted in the apprehensions of these personalities namely Joel Adajar Ilagan a.k.a ‘Borger’, Adrian de Jesus Martinez a.k.a. ‘AdminX’, and Jeffrey Cruz Limpiado a.k.a. ‘Brake/ Vanguard/ Universal/ LLR,” it added.
Initial findings, according to CICC, revealed that the group was also responsible for the previous hacking incidents trageting Comelec, along with other reports of hacking of local commercial websites.
“Initial findings reveal that the above-mentioned group violated the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 […] specifically by hacking the Smartmatic system; number two, disrupting the Comelec website; number three, hacking the Napocor website; number four, hacking the credit cards and other online transactions; number five ransomware committed against local commercial website,” CICC noted.
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