Need 100M pesos? Be a Hacker


Do you need 100M pesos? Well, if Sen. Alan Cayetano’s proposal will be backed by the other lawmakers then, let’s all try our hands at being a hacker. Why? Read the following article from Christina Mendez of the Philippine Star: Hackers wanted; P100-million reward .

Excerpts from the article include:

Opposition Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is proposing that about P100 million out of the P11-billion poll automation fund be used as a reward to people who can hack the machines to be used in next year’s automated elections.

Well, Senator, you have just opened the country to vulnerable attacks {sigh}. Just imagine the world’s hackers reading the article, doing the math, and realizing how big they could make out of this! Don’t you think that it is too premature to claim that the system is hack-proof when the company to make the program/system is not even known yet? Besides, the almighty Pentagon and the FBI had been victims of hackers before…so, the country can dare to make silly statements as this? And a reward that many of the country’s citizens would die for just to get their hands on? Had I any IT brain in me, I’d seriously think of hacking the system!

“For the country, we cannot afford another six years or longer of instability because of questions on the elections. So we thought of a direct assurance for our people that automation would be credible,” Cayetano said.

“We thought of way to address this… (and use the P100 million) as a reward to computer experts, technology experts and even to hackers to show if the system has any vulnerability,” Cayetano explained.

The money will be taken out of the P11-billion appropriation recently approved by Congress for automation.

Cayetano said the Comelec would also be asked to outline the rules and regulations covering the reward, with P10 million as the minimum reward for every successful attempt to hack into the poll automation system.

In pushing for this, Cayetano cited a statement made by Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino, who was quoted by the media to have declared that “by the time a hacker gets into our system, the election is over.”

No, the country may not afford another 6 years of political instability but we can’t also afford to waste money. And yes, for a country that could not afford to waste money, we’ll be too stupid to dole out that 100M for a hacker to do the job. Have you ever been on a security briefing on hacking and the internet, Senator?

“The most effective way to test if indeed a system is credible, reliable and tamper-proof or fraud-proof is to offer a sizable prize to whoever can hack and convincingly show the weaknesses of the system,” Cayetano’s resolution read.

Yes, the intention is noble and right, of course. However, the reward is too much, too big, and too tantalizing not to be taken…

Hmmm…I have a proposal…Why don’t you pay someone to hack the sites of those who the country owes money from – to erase our debt and all. The 100M reward will be very useful and appropriate, then! Or perhaps, the intended reward be used to pay – for real – the teachers who serve during the elections and get paid several months after the elections are over!

Please, Senator, the money would be useful when used elsewhere. You can even choose to reward your hacker but the amount should definitely be not as big as 100M!

11 Responses

  1. Oh don’t worry, the machines will NOT, can NOT, be hacked. I’m absolutely sure of it. Not even the best hackers in the planet can hack those machines…
    In fact, I’m willing to bet 100 BILLION that they can’t be hacked!

    Do you know why they can’t be hacked?
    Because they will remain unpowered and unconnected to any network. In other words, they will remain wrapped in plastic and sitting on a warehouse somewhere, without electricity or a phone line.

    Most probably, some of the parts are made in Argao, Cebu, or Bangladesh, and they won’t even work…

    Hackers of the world, try to hack that!

  2. Hey, that’s a good challenge to the hackers! Wow, if a hacker can hack a computer not connected to the internet or power source then he must be the best in world 😀

  3. yes, if a hacker can hack an unpowered, unplugged, and unconnected machine, not only is that hacker the best in the world, but he/she must be a miracle worker.
    much like brother mike!! or me.

  4. in other term its Called Penetration Testing..tinetest kung may Vulnerabilty ang System nila.. even Google and Yahoo ay nagbbgay ng price pag nahack mo cla or mahihired ka.. in order to Defend your system to a hacker dapat hacker ka rin..common sense nman kung wlang kuryente at wlang internet connection yang mga device na yan..sabi knina sa news na magseset cla ng date para ihack yang system nila meaning ioopen nila world wide at may internet connection sabi sa abscbn knina..at kaya nman malaki ang presyo kc pag mga 5m lng ang price eh yung hacker pedeng presyohan ng mga Magrurun na Candidate sa 2010 election ng morethan that price…kung mababa lng kc ang price para sa makakahack ng system, may tendency na maghihire ang mga presidential candidate ng mga magagaling na hacker at dodoblehin nla yung price.

    Comment ko lng po to ^ ^..Peace!.

  5. @ Zaint: Haven’t thought of that in that light; however, I still think that the price would be too much to give out. And don’t you think that it is another way of delaying the automization process? When the system is hacked, don’t you think that protests won’t go up against the President for having a vulnerable system then the automated polls will be called off and as @Xavier@ mentioned, the computers will be left in warehouses, unused. Yup, your comment is acceptable and right but our political system is also very predictable (sigh).

  6. sa akin pong opinyon ay si brother mike lang ang makaka-hack ng mga makinaryang iyan maski hindi nakakonek sa internets.

    kaya ni brother mike ang anumang mirakulo, kagaya pagpapagaling sa may kabag, rayuma, at bato sa pantog.

    like me, he is a miracle workers, so we must be proud of us all.

  7. Pareng Manny,
    Thank you for your support. Yes, I will be be able to hack any systems even in the most secure environment. I could also cure moronism, especially yung minana sa mga moron na ancestors…
    Alam mo pareng Manny, ang moronism ay hindi dapat ikahiya, dahil ito ay natural lamang. For those who have faith in me, just call my name and I’ll cure you of you’re mental illness.

    Yours truly,
    Bro. Mike

  8. he Commission on Elections (COMELEC) held a pre-bidding conference last month of prospective election systems suppliers for the automation of the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.

    According to COMELEC, ten firms have already secured the necessary bid documents, including the terms of reference from the COMELEC.

    Smartmatic:

    Smartmatic Corp. or Smartmatic International is a multinational corporations pecializes in the design and deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions including Electronic voting systems, integrated security systems, and biometric systems for people registration and authentication for government applications.

    The Electronic Voting system of Smartmatic is calle SAES or Smartmatic Automated Elections Systems it’s a direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting system comprising hardware (voting machines), the software operative in same, election management software, and canvassing software for a central location’s servers.

    SAES technology has been used in seven national elections in Venezuela, USA, Philippines (ARMM) and Curaçao.

    The election results in Venezuela was however challenged as tainted with fraud because it showed that Chavez was consitently strong in parts of the country where he had weak support. A Venezuelan mathematican found a “very subtle algorithm” that appear to adjust the vote in Chavez’s favor.

    Sequoia:

    In 2005 Smartmatic acquired Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading US companies in the Electronic voting industry.

    This company was also controversial because of the March 2006 electoral fiasco in Chicago and Cook County in the United States, where a percentage of the machines involved were manufactured by Sequoia, and Sequoia provided technical assistance on the day. According to Sequoia the tabulation problems were due to human error, as a post-election check identified only 3 mechanical problems in 1000 machines checked. Election officials blamed poor training. A local alderman said the troubles could be due to an “international conspiracy”.

    BlackBoxvoting.org has reported several issues against Sequoia including: “Someone accessed 40 Palm Beach voting machines in Nov 2004” it reported that “internal logs of at least 40 Sequoia touch-screen voting machines reveal that votes were time and date-stamped as cast two weeks before the election, sometimes in the middle of the night.” and it has released a report that says “it has audited 70,000 manual errors and 100,000 computer errors of Sequoia Voting Machines in Palm Beach, FL 2004 Election. “Audit Shows Electronic Voting in Disarray, Thousands of Re-boots, Re-Calibrations Required Throughout Election.” (wiki.cp-union.com, Comelec’s AES Implementation)

  9. Hacked or not, there will always be politicians who will cheat their way on top. Election in the Philippines is scripted. It will be over even before the fist voter casts his vote. Hello Garci! 🙂 100M for a hacker? That’s ridiculous. Feed it to the hungry mouths instead or build homes for people.

  10. Well, I just stumble onto this article while random surfing the web and one of the reader’s comment caught my attention, so I decided to write this note.

    Having first hand knoweledge on the subject of hacking, I can tell you that thinking that computers turned off and unplugged are un-hackable is not entirely correct. Actually, many government’s intelligence organisms have, and therefore it is reasonable to assume the crime world does too, a little gadget that produces an electromagnetic field which in turn generates an induced electric current. Such gadget placed on top of your turned off and unplugged computer will start spinning your harddrive and therefore start reading and obtaining information from it. So they can actually hack you with your turned off and unplugged computer. This little e-voting machines are no different.

    There is a famous quote from a computer systems specialist that said something like: “.. The only computer system that can be considered safe from hacking would have to be put into a lead safe, chained and dropped into the bottom of the ocean.. and I still have my doubts..”

    Good luck on those elections, and if that law is passed, please do let me know, cause I will love to give it a try. I am from Venezuela and Smartmatic DID NOT perform a real world public hacking test to verify the true security of their machines. I am sure they wouldn’t stand a chance. Who knows, maybe the people who are pulling the strings in your country are making the deal directly with smartmatic. The only way to know for sure is if the machines are tested against real people, real attacks, and REAL MOTIVATION. ($$)

    Unless of course you really dont care if someone is trying to cheat the phillipinean people’s will. In that case, just play along and let the powerfull and wealthy to impose you a president, and in the meantime, make a lot of money for multinational coorps like Smartmatic.

    lol.

  11. Hi Elite Haxor,

    I had just approved your comment because it was unwittingly placed at the spam folder.

    Now that you said that, the rumors of hacking computers that are turned off sound really true, then? Well, although I had been a regular voter for years, I still think that the automated system would be useless. Yes, the politicians are still going to find a way to win the polls. So, hack away 🙂

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