Alleged hacker behind ‘Comeleak’ faces raps for violating Cybercrime Prevention Act

Image capture from TV Patrol's video via Paul Zulueta Biteng's Facebook account
  • Alleged hacker, Paul Biteng, was arrested on April 20, 2016 for the defacement of the Comelec website
  • He will be facing charges for the illegal access to computer system, data interference, and misuse of device
  • Biteng may be facing up to 60 years behind bars

The hacking incident involving the Comelec website, aptly called “Comeleak”, was considered as one of the biggest data breach in a government infrastructure in recent history which resulted to the information leak of the country’s 55 million registered voters.

After the arrest in his home in Sampaloc, Manila on April 20, 2016, alleged “Comeleak” hacker Paul Biteng will be facing charges for defacing the Comelec website. The hacking incident have impeded various functions in the website.

As mentioned in an article by the Inquirer, the Manila Prosecutor’s Office (MPO) found probable causes to prosecute Biteng for various charges. MPO recommended filling cases for illegal access to computer system, data interference, and misuse of device. The charges are all punishable under Section 4 of Republic Act 10175 with jail term ranging from 6 to 12 years.

However, Chief Inquest Prosecutor Jovencio Senados stressed that when the crime involves a “critical infrastructure”, the penalty will be a degree higher. Biteng may be facing 20 years per case but will be allowed to post bail for P200, 000 for each offense filed against him.

Cited by the Philstar, Biteng’s counsel Harold Alcantara said, as a security analyst, Biteng only exposed vulnerability threats of certain websites but had nothing to do with the defacement of Comelec website or the massive data leak.

Shortly after his arrest, a website called wehaveyourdata.com have been released by a group called Lulszec Philippines. The website contained a search engine that has access to the registered voters’ data. According to an article by Business World Online, it has been taken down by the authorities but experts fear that the stolen information may have already been copied for possible criminal activities.

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