Manila — election season have been so hot as the El Niño heat in the Philippines. A virtual breach of the government website, including the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) hit the headlines of national and international media.
COMELEC website has been hacked by Paul Zulueta y Biteng, as an expression of disgust of the weak security system of the government body. The suspect pretends to be a member of Anonymous, an international community of hackers who engage in virtual warfare in the internet.
Unfortunately for Mr. Zulueta, his IP address has been traced, causing him to be nabbed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and filed a case against the Anti-Cybercrime Act (RA 10175).
The culprit did not suffer much of the public uproar, but the government did. Posts circulating around social shows that someone from Malacañang uploaded the personal files of votes online. The cyber criminal sounds more of a patriot for exposing the government’s digital security weaknesses.
A Facebook page, Hokage Thoughts, posted this online.
Paul Biteng (Comelec hacker’s mugshot)
He should not be imprisoned. In 2014 he was recognized by Facebook and Microsoft as a “white hat hacker” for identifying and reporting security vulnerabilities in FB and Microsoft. NBI should hire him as a security consultant.
The administrator of the page also added in the comment section that the hacker has been included in the “hall of fame” of both Facebook and Microsoft. Netizens also express support and opposes putting the culprit behind bars.
In the end, if Mr. Zulueta, really wants to help the COMELEC, he should have done it more prudently — not this way that cause much public scandal. If he submitted a formal letter to COMELEC, he could have been working there now. Hacking is still a crime.