Senator: Hire the Comelec Hackers

Senator: Hire the Comelec Hackers

Sen. Ralph Recto wants to hire the Comelec hackers, citing a need to beef up the government's cybersecurity.

While a part of the government reacts in shame as a fresh IT graduate easily defaced the Comelec website, a few crucial weeks close to the national elections, Recto stands out in the sea of government officials who otherwise just wants the hacker arrested.

The hacker in question, Paul Biteng, is a fresh IT graduate who received praise from big corporations such as Microsoft and Facebook. As a white hat hacker, he breaks into protected online systems to reveal to the owner its vulnerabilities and therefore possible solutions.

Biteng said he did it out of boredom, but also because he wanted to show Comelec that it was a mistake not to include the four safety measures mandated by law.

According to Republic Act (RA) 939 or the Automated Election Law, the safety measures mentioned are as follows: ballot verification or ultra violet detectors, the source code review, the voter verified paper audit trail and the digital signature

READ ALSO: Boredom led to 'Comeleak'

“Instead of wasting their talents, these talented Filipino internet experts should be employed by the executive department as white hat hackers to protect us from real cyber-criminals,” Recto said, according to Philippine Star.

The senator has sponsored a bill to form the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Under the bill, a  “Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center” will create the National Cybersecurity Plan. The Center will also form the National Computer Emergency Response Team that will be composed of IT Special Action Forces or cyber-commandos.

In a Manila Bulletin report, the senator cited the inefficiencies of current cybercrime initiatives despite the growing online presence of individuals and businesses, with over "70 million have social media presence."

To drive his point, he said that the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group has only over 110 personnel to protect that much online assets.

READ ALSO: You will get hacked; here's how to mitigate the harm.

“Sayang ang mga kabataang ito kung makukulong lang. Magagamit natin ang kanilang talento sa kabutihan kung mabibigyan sila ng trabaho ng gobyerno bilang mga white hat hackers o cyber-commandos,” he added.

(We are wasting them if they get imprisoned. We can use their talent for good if we give them a job in the government as white hat hackers or cyber-commandos.)



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