Comelec, govt websites down 2 days before Monday's election

Manila, Philippines - Government websites on Saturday, May 11, 2013 including the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) became inaccessible and suspiciously has been hacked.

According to reports, cyberattacks are apparently emanating from Taiwan based on the referrer tags and the forum website pages used to "trigger" the attacks.

Some of the government websites that are down on Saturday are the subdomains of Department of National Defense, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippines News Agency and Philippine Information Agency.

From the results of initial study, the following websites are also targeted for the attack: ABS-CBN News, GMA News, Smart and Globe websites.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez clarified that  the agency’s website slowed down due to the high number of visitors trying to access the site and not because it had been hacked.

“The problem is that many of users were loading the PDF (portable document format) files of ballot templates so that was eating up our bandwidth. Definitely the problem is that too many people are trying to access the site right now,” Jimenez said.

“But that website will not be used for the election results. So people shouldn’t worry because we will be using another website for the precinct results,” he said.

Jimenez said the slowdown would not affect the elections since the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines were not connected to the Comelec website.

“It will not affect the reporting results because we will be using another website and we have not released the URL (uniform resource locator or web address) for that other site,” he said.

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