Monday, September 21, 2009

Philippines COMELEC invite hackers for 100M hack prize

Yes, hackers are welcome but the prize money is out of the question.

This is the reaction of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to the proposal of Senator Allan Peter Cayetano to set-up a reward of P100 Million for anyone who could successfully hack into the automated election system for the 2010 elections.

“The idea of inviting hackers to take a crack at our automated election system is not new. The COMELEC has already made a public announcement before that it is set to employ ethical hackers who will be contractually obligated to test the system for weaknesses so we can have it addressed before implementation. This is actually part of our plan,” said COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez.

The poll body, however, said it is against the proposed P100 Million ‘prize money’.

The poll exec further clarified that if there is anyone who should offer a reward, it should be the vendors and not the COMELEC.

Jimenez, meanwhile, echoed the observation of Senator Loren Legarda who said there is no man-made system on Earth that is perfect or fool-proof. The lady Senator, however, added that “there are enough safeguards in the law and the regulations put in place by the COMELEC that could prevent tampering.”

“If there are experts saying that the poll computer system can be hacked, there are also those who say that hacking or tampering can be prevented… Let’s give poll automation a try in the 2010 elections,” Legarda added.

“The COMELEC assures Senator Cayetano and the Filipino people that we have enough safeguards to thwart any attack that would seriously undermine the automation of the May 10, 2010 national and local elections,” Jimenez concluded.

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