Both individuals linked to the hacking of the Commission on Election website said that they don’t have any regrets and that they are willing to do it again to prove that the website has very weak security measures.
Both Paul Biteng, 20 years old, and Joenel de Asis, 23 years old, have been arrested due to hacking the ComElec website, releasing to the public data millions of votes across the country. Both are now inside the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division Office.
According to these two men, they were able to get their message across. “The Comelec lied when it said its website had strong safeguards. It lied when [its officials] said there was no sensitive [voter] information in the database. So, yes, I’d do it again if only to disprove that,” De Asis said.
De Asis, however, revealed that he would not do it the way he did. If given another chance, he would make it a priority that only encrypted data would be available for public viewing to avoid personal details of the voters.
On the other hand, Biting is a bit unsure if what he did is worth it. “I even asked my dad to do everything he could to post bail, never mind if we became dead poor. I want to be free again,” he said.
“Is it worth it? Yes and no. Yes, because the public has become more aware. No, because what we did could have a big impact on the elections. What if someone claims the results were comprised because of what we did? Of course, that wouldn’t be true but it would create an impact,” he said.
Biteng and De Asis could be jailed for a maximum of 60 years and 80 years, respectively, if found guilty. According to Biteng, this jail time is too much for a punishment. They are facing prosecution for interference of date, illegal access, and for misuse of device. De Asis, on the other hand, will also face charges for leaking the data on other websites.