Fingerprint and passport data leaked in Philippines voter database breach

April 7, 2016 - 

According to a report by Trend Micro, a massive breach of the database of the Philippines’ Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has leaked a huge number of voters personal identifiable information, including passport information and fingerprint data.

“With 55 million registered voters in the Philippines, this leak may turn out as the biggest government related data breach in history, surpassing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack last 2015 that leaked PII, including fingerprints and social security numbers (SSN) of 20 million US citizens.”

This incident puts pressure on the COMELEC and their Automated Voting System (AVS). In a statement in the Trend Micro report, COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez acknowleged that the security of the website is not high but he pointed out that the AVS ran on a different, more secure network and that the recent hack will not affect the voting machines. Jimenez is confident of the security features of the AVS and reassured the public that things will go smoothly during the elections.

While COMELEC officials claim that no sensitive information was stored in the database, Trend Micro research showed that the data dumps includes 1.3 million records of overseas Filipino voters, which included passport numbers and expiry dates, 15.8 million record of fingerprints and list of people running for office since the 2010 elections.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.