Poll chief dismisses hacking report as 'fake news'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 11) — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sheriff Abas denied the poll body's system has been compromised, stressing it is "quite impossible to hack non-existent information."

Based on their initial assessment, Abas said the reported hacking of Comelec servers did not happen.

"I immediately called the IT department to check our systems kung may breach. After an hour, bumalik sa akin, at sinabing medyo negative. Mukhang fake news ang balita," he told CNN Philippines' Politics as Usual.

"It is quite impossible na ma-hack ang isang data na hindi pa existing," Abas added.

[Translation: I immediately called the IT department to check our systems if there was a breach. After an hour, he came back to me and said quite negative. The report appears to be fake news. It is quite impossible to hack data that have yet to exist.]

A report from Manila Bulletin on Monday bared a group of hackers was "able to breach the servers of the Comelec, downloading more than 60 gigabytes of data that could possibly affect the elections" last Jan. 8.

RELATED: Comelec probes alleged data breach in its servers

Among the files that were allegedly compromised include "usernames and PINS of vote counting machines (VCM)," the report stated.

Abas, however, argued that the poll body has yet to upload information to its system.

"Doon ka pa lang magkakaron ng PIN numbers at passwords kapag nalagay na sa system ng VCM," he said.

[That's the only time you will have PIN numbers and passwords once the data are installed in the VCM system.]

Abas said the poll body is set to configure the data on Jan. 15. Abas also said the Comelec will investigate the matter further.

"We will issue a final report within the week," he said.