THE poll body is confident that the election results from the poll machines will not be hacked because of its secure websites.

Amid hacking attacks in government websites and concerns on security of the automated system, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) maintained that its websites are secured.

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Just recently, websites of National Government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), were hacked.

The poll body assured that Comelec personnel are constantly monitoring against hacking attacks.

“In case this happens that the Comelec website is hacked, there are still other servers where the data may be accessed,” said Commissioner

Gregorio Larrazabal.

The election results will be transmitted to different parties: the municipal canvasser, the server of dominant minority, dominant majority, citizens’ arm, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, and the Comelec central server.

The transmission will be simultaneous but in separate servers, so as to ensure that not all the election data will be hacked, if, in its smallest possible chance, hacking attack occurs.

“All the other websites are all hosted separately. We have a lot of websites and in order to minimize the danger of one attack compromising everything, we hosted them in different hosts so if you attack one, it doesn't mean you hit everything,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

But Jimenez clarified that the commission is not claiming its system is 100 percent hack-free.

“If it is hacked, your best defense is that the system has generated several originals,” added Jimenez.

He said the possibility of hacking is greatest at the municipal server since it is seen by the public.

The redundancy of original data however will help when one server is attacked because this does not necessarily mean that everything was hit.

“Redundancy is not just for recovery but also for audit,” said Jimenez.

Once the voting is done, the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to be used in the coming May elections will be connected to a wireless portable device that will transmit the data to the different servers.

Hacking attacks are open during this transmission.

In a related development, Commissioner Larrazabal confirmed that the delivery of 9,600 poll machines that was scheduled to be shipped on January 3 was delayed.

“The machines were produced but there was a delay in loading of the machines into vessels going to the Philippines,” explained the official.

Another 10,000 PCOS machines are due to arrive on January 12, he said.

All the machines are delivered to a factory in Cabuyao, Laguna where a series of tests will be performed to ensure that it is 100 percent ready for the May automated polls. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)