THE police arrested three suspected hackers who allegedly sell the promise of victory to candidates in the May 9 national and local elections.
According to the Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG), together with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), the suspects were arrested in separate entrapment operations in Imus, Cavite and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The PNP identified the suspects as Joel Adajar Ilagan alias “Borger,” Adrian De Jesus Martinez alias “Admin X,” and Jeffrey Cruz Limpiado alias “Brake/Vanguard/Universe/LRR.”
The suspects apparently tell their would-be victims that they have access to the Smartmatic system, the system provider for the automated May 2022 elections, and that they have the ability to influence the results of the elections.
According to initial investigation by the PNP, the suspects violated the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 because of hacking of the Smartmatic system; illegal access to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website; hacking of the National Power Corporation (Napocor) website; hacking of credit cards and other online transactions; and the proliferation of ransomware in some local commercial websites.
The PNP-ACG already filed criminal charges against the suspects.
“With these arrests, we can assure the public that the threat to rig our electoral process through hacking is substantially diminished as these are the only remaining known hackers who are persistently visible on the dark web claiming that they can manipulate election results,” according to the PNP-ACG.