Comelec: No biometrics in leaked data

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Fingerprints, along with a voter's signature and photo, are included in biometrics registration.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured registered voters on Tuesday (April 12) their fingerprints, signatures, and photos were not included in the recent hacking of its database.

The Comelec website, linked to a database of over 50 million registered voters, was hacked by Anonymous Philippines on March 27. International IT company TrendMicro called it "the biggest government data leak in history."

The Comelec and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said on Tuesday they already have an idea who the real persons behind it may be.

"Sa ngayon, we have, I would say, a very good lead. And we're hoping that in the next few days, we will be able to identify, arrest and do charge the persons responsible," said NBI Cybercrimes Division Chief Ronald Aguto.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said they are now using new servers to host their website and database, adding they have increased security.

But what worries IT experts and poll watchdogs now is the leaked information. They said it may be used to steal the identities of registered voters.

Related: IT experts worry about cybersecurity on election day

This concern came after web security vendor TrendMicro said it investigated the supposedly leaked data and claimed it did contain voters' personal information.

Related: 55M Filipino voters open to fraud after Comelec hack – int'l tech security firm

But the Comelec said it may have been a fake database.

"First of all, they claim to have investigated or researched the data dumped, no? Which, to my mind, is a little dangerous to claim because wala naman silang kakayanan [they don't have the capability] to actually validate whatever it is they're looking at, right? Kasi wala naman silang access sa [because they don't have access to the] database ng Comelec," said Jimenez.

Jimenez added the hacked database did not include voters' fingerprints, signatures, or photos.

"One particularly dangerous thing is that they're claiming that it includes biometrics. It did not include biometrics, okay?"

But the Comelec also said they're still in the middle of comparing the leaked data with their database.

In other words, the poll body is not yet done with its own investigation. 

Jimenez insisted all this will not affect the elections, saying the poll automation system is isolated.