By Danessa O. Rivera and Charlie V. Manalo
The Daily Tribune
06/20/2010

In a sign of bad faith, Smartmatic, the technical provider and partner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), failed to disclose that its precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines had console ports or “secret backdoors” which anyone could open without the need for passwords or usernames to gain complete control over the units’ operating system and obviously could be used for manipulating votes.

This backdoor port gives anyone the opportunity to either modify, erase, save or overwrite files and programs in the PCOS machines, an IT expert yesterday disclosed during a media forum at the Sulo Hotel.

At the same time, in another forum held at the Manila Polo Club in Makati yesterday, LRA Pacific operations director Jonathan Manalang disclosed that there were several concerns that were seemed highly questionable. Manalang said some concerns were on the proper inventory of the PCOS machines.

As he and his team called technicians in different precincts to confirm if they had received the right number of PCOS machines, they were informed that some received less than the designated number of PCOS machine while some received more.

They reported this matter to Smartmatic officials but all the tech provider officials said was “they will handle it.”

Manalang added that certain PCOS machines only allowed a certain number of votes, an issue that became a concern, when some precinct polling places received the wrong PCOS machines.

LRA Pacific was the outsourcing company hired by Smartmatic to handle the technical support during the elections.

Manalang served as a witness during the hearings regarding election fraud at the House of Representatives on June 30 but this was cut short a few days before the last day of hearing by Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. who headed the congressional committee.

Contrary to assertions of Smartmatic that its PCOS machines are tamper-proof, an IT expert, Roberto Verzola, yesterday bared that the

voting machines used in the May 10 polls contained a backdoor entry which can enable anyone to access their data, overwrite them or use them for any purpose one may deem beneficial to his intention.

At the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo, Obet Verzola, the IT expert, said investigators conducting a forensic examination on the 60 PCOS machines found in the possession of a Smartmatic technican in Antipolo City, had discovered a backdoor or portal at the back of the machines, which is called a console.

Verzola said that this console can be used by anyone simply by accessing it through a cable and once access has been gained, the “intruder” can easily access the data, overwrite them or use the data for whatever purposes desired.

Through the consul, Verzola added that the hacker can easily erase all data including the audit trail which Smartmatic claims is a fool-proof mechanism to detect if the machines had been hacked.

Smartmatic’s chief in the Philippines, Cesar Flores, during a congressional hearing admitted in the face of evidence, after denying it earlier, that the audit log entries can be altered, that compact flash (CF) cards can be reprogrammed as desired, and that votes can be rescanned, erased or added to another candidate.

Although not concluding the machines might have indeed been hacked and programs over-ridden and overwritten, the IT expert said the console only substantiate claims that the PCOS machines are not tamper-proof as Smartmatic claims them to be and the probability of the results having been compromised is relatively high.

Making matters worse, Verzola said, is that Smartmatic, did not disclose the existence of the console.

“We don’t know what other secrets these PCOS machines have,” said Verzola. “If there still things we don’t know about the PCOS machines, Smartmatic should now come forward and bare them all.”

At the moment, Flores is selling Comelec and the public the idea of the poll body buying the PCOS machines—all 82,600 of them—for P2 billion, claiming that these machines can be used for the next 10 years, and many more automated elections to come. It is doubted whether Smartmatic would disclose anything negative.

Comelec apparently is also keen on the idea of purchasing these easy to tamper machines, despite all the discoveries of a fraudulent automated election.

But with the discovery, the IT expert reiterated his call for the Comelec to expedite its audit on the 76,000 PCOS on where they have been brought after the May 10 elections, inventory the CF cards, and release the results of the random manual it has conducted.

Verzola stressed the three issues should be resolved immediately as they could be used to determine whether the election results as based on the election results transmitted by the PCOS machines are credible or if they had been hacked.

“But up to now, the Comelec has yet to release results of its audit,” said Verzola.

The IT expert also reiterated his call to upload the images of the ballots captured by the PCOS machines in the Comelec so that people can also help in determining whether fraud was committed in the country’s first automated polls.

“Uploading these JPEG images of the ballots cast in the May 10 polls could also be used to audit the votes. And it could be easily done as these images are contained in the CF cards,” Verzola stated.

Verzola also noted that PCOS operating system “permanently records an application log only which is saved to an audit log file in the removable CF card. The operating system log is saved not to the CF card but to volatile memory also called a RAM disk whose contents are lost everytime the PCOS machine is turned off. Thus, intrusions through this secret backdoor leave no record for forensic examination. In addition, intruders can also overwrite a recent audit log file with an old copy, allowing them to hide their tracks from the application log as well.”

“You can erase any trace of intrusion with this backdoor access,” Verzola said.

To access the PCOS operating system, he said, anyone can merely connect the console port to any computer using a special cable.

Verzola asked why Smartmatic, government’s poll automation contractor, did not inform Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) about the console ports.

“ASTI said those are only output ports for getting data from the machine,” he said.

Meanwhile, a privately-funded group yesterday said that there was massive fraud in the first electronic elections held May 10 as the Comelec and Congress violated the laws in the electoral process and in the canvassing votes which call into question the very legality and constitutionality of the entire elections and the proclamation process that followed.

The Movement for Integrity in Governance and Honesty and Truth in the May 2010 Elections (MIGHTe2010) said in its first public forum that the Comelec ignored and set aside many vital requirements of the Automated Election System Law (Republic Act 9369) while the Congress violated constitutional provisions governing the canvassing of votes for president and vice president.

Sen. Jamby Madrigal said the proclamation of the elected officials was illegal on grounds that there was no Congress joint session held as election returns were counted.

This was seconded by Lawyer Homobono Adaza, saying that the canvassing of votes must be done through a joint session by the Upper and Lower House with all members present that should be done publicly.

In the forum, several witnesses presented how the fraud in the elections occurred. Philippine Computer Society Director Edmundo “Toti” Casiño said the election returns were not signed by election inspectors, which was a mandate as stated in the Batas Pambansa (BP) 881, questioning the legality of the votes.

He also said that some of the election returns had results with different dates other than May 10 which could have been “premature scanning of ballots.”

Another witness, Pastor Ronald Tan, a vice mayor candidate in the city of Tagaytay, said election fraud did not start in the transmission of election returns but it started in the voters’ list, saying that the “Comelec must be put to task and be held accountable.”

He also said three days before the elections, he was offered 10 Compact Flash (CF) cards in exchange for the amount of P5 million by a Smartmatic Information Technology (IT) personnel and a Comelec employee to get a sure win in the elections.

MIGHTe2010 is a non-partisan gathering of civil society organizations, political groups, business entrepreneurs, and concerned citizens which include the Philippine Computer Society, Bangon Pilipinas, Ang Kapatiran Party, Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines, Brigada Berde, Bantay Garci 2010, Mahal Ko Bayan Ko, Center for Alternative Development Initiatives, Buklod National Political Party,Quezon City Political Coaltion for Truth, Para Sa Bansa Movement, Buklod Political Party, Atripeda and many more.

MIGHT e2010 has three goals namely to unravel the truth surrounding the May 2010 elections; to restore honesty and truth in our electoral processes; and to advance moral integrity and true service in the governance of our country.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. hay nako puro reklamo mga pulitiko na pildido puro pasangil way kamatouran bsan unsa nala makit an…kung pwede pa manlimbong kadaog unta si gibo kay mao man an manok sa admin….paghilum m oi….way klaro mayo pa magtrabaaho ta para m asenso ato nasod dli puro dakdak ta way agi….

  2. dahh.. Daan pa koh… Kinsa mning mga tawhana nga mo engun nga walay limbong sa pinili’ay?. Mga wa mni alamag pud sa computer bah.. igu rman pud ni cla maka gamet og internet, wa jud ni makat’on pag MODIFY og SOFTWARE.. :-) tan’awa ra gud koh,.. Taga almeria mn jud ko., na’a bay internet ang almeria? Wala sa? SMART BRO kono? Mga asawa og seaman, mangutang pa gane og pang LOAD..
    Seaman diay ko?
    Dili sa?
    Pero na’a mn lagi ko denhe perme? kay ako laging gi MODIFY akong BROWSER… Ay PAGKA SISIW ra baya nang trabaho’a…

    Unya, kay sa CF cards or memory cards rman e suksuk entawong ang Dagdag bawas!. Wala tay makitang Evidence ani.. Manghina’ot nalang ko nga mapamatud’an ni sa mga expert nga dakong limbong ang PCOS…

  3. Hilom diha Jun Ilao, maayo rana tabtaban nang imong simod naga baga nalang na imo wait ug simod wak wak ka man gani

  4. kini baya c junuhawhilaw bastos kaayo tua ni permi sa Bilchat magbinastos.MAAYO BA NA NGA BUHAT JUNHILAW BAGA SIMOD?dala dala pa sa ngalan ni glenn chong wala ka uroy pamatasan! pagtiner ug kaikog uy!

  5. The perfect crime?

    FRONTLINE
    Ninez Cacho-Olivares
    Daily Tribune

    06/21/2010

    Cesar Flores of Smartmatic and his partner, the Commission on Elections (Comelec), have a ready answer on allegations of automated fraud committed last May 10, 2010: Show me the evidence of cheating — even just one piece of proof of electronic cheating.

    There is plenty of evidence — all staring them in the face, but no matter what is shown — even documentary proof showing different voting and transmittal dates — this is dismissed as just glitches.

    But no matter how much they deny it, there certainly was fraud — and massive, too — committed during the last polls, and they certainly know it, but refuse to admit it.

    The fact alone that neither Smartmatic nor Comelec officials were upfront with the people is more than enough evidence that not only were they hiding a lot of things from the Filipino people, but that they also had every intention to manipulate the vote for certain preferred candidates.

    From the start, both the poll body and Smartmatic kept on insisting that these precinct count optical scan machines cannot be hacked, but a forensic examination of the 60 PCOS machines that were found in the Antipolo home of a Smartmatic technician showed a “secret backdoor” or a port called console which opens the door for easy manipulation of votes, and widescale fraud.

    An IT expert, Roberto Verzola of Halalang Marangal, another poll watchdog group, pointed out that the “newly-discovered backdoor” in the PCOS machine, as discovered during the forensic examination, allows untraceable manipulation of its operations, as the console in the PCOS found, claimed by Smartmatic to serve as an output, has input capabilities.

    This console, he said, “gives anyone full control on the operating system of the PCOS machine. The log is saved to volatile memory, which is lost every time the machine is turned off, which leaves no record of the activity for a forensic examination.”

    Explaining further, Verzola said that due to this kind of input capability of the port, any trace of intrusion or cheating “can also be erased by the intruder.”

    This secret backdoor allowing an operator to alter electoral data and even erasing all traces of the fraud, was deliberately kept hidden by Smartmatic from the public.

    Put more bluntly, Smartmatic and Comelec officials succeeded in committing the perfect electoral crime and are getting away with it.

    No wonder the Venezuelan Flores and Comelec officials, who clearly are also involved in the massive cheating operations, always dare those who allege fraud to come up with “proof.”

    But there is such a thing as “circumstantial evidence” such as the fact that both the poll body and Smartmatic eliminated virtually all of the anti-fraud security measures — including the digital signatures of the Board of Election Inspectors, and deliberately excluded a receipt for the voter of his vote — all done to facilitate the cheating operations; the non-disclosure of the “secret” console; the refusal to have the source code examined by independent IT experts; the refusal to clean up the voters’ list of zombie registrants; the deliberate delays in transmission; the deliberate denial of the powerful super server that Smartmatic maintained for its shady operations; and even the reconfiguration of the compact flash (CF) cards, plus the random manual audit results which have not been made public at all, close to two months after the polls, among the many manifestations to commit fraud. All these point to both the Comelec and Smartmatic collusion to commit criminal activity.

    It stands to reason that if there was nothing to hide, and that everything was above board, both the Comelec and its tech partner, Smartmatic, would have been open to allowing, as the law allowed it anyway, everything to be scrutinized by the public, and the IT experts.

    But even the call for ballot images that are still encrypted which can be unencrypted and posted online, grouped per clustered precinct, for public viewing, and for the public to know if their votes were counted properly is being ignored.

    And they have the nerve to dare people to show them proof of electronic fraud?

    As they say, the criminals always leave something for forensics to discover and prove the crime.

  6. korek ka kikik uy, subrang bastos gyod na siya sa bilchat. sa bagay tan awa ra gyod nang dagway di anang tawhana mura man gani na ug walay kaligo ug matod pa sa akong mga igsoon nga babaye timailhan lang na siya nga kuwang sa pansin kay kinsa man intawon sad mopansin sa iya nga ang dagway tan awa lang ninyo kaliwat man gani ug wakwak

  7. mao bha expert diay ka computer nya nganu man na naa ra man ka naval gamita na imu ka expert adto sa gawas….sa bagay sayun ra m sulti ana para pasiatab kuno….tulihaw pag tarung ha….dli ka mo dawat sa kapildihan…ayaw pag papansin…bsin ug mahimulbulan ka …

  8. TO BE HONEST ABOUT IT, I ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE OF SMARTMATIC’S CESAR FLORES IN FRONT OF THE COMMITTEE ON SUFFRAGE AND IN FRONT OF TV CAMERAS ON THE LAST DAY OF HEARINGS THAT WE OPEN THE BALLOTS IN BILIRAN IN FRONT OF THE PUBLIC TO PROVE FRAUD.

    IT WAS AN I.T. EXPERT, BETTINA QUIMSON OF NAVIGATOR SYSTEMS, WHO FIRST PROPOSED TO THE COMMITTEE TO USE BILIRAN’S CASE HAVING BEEN ABLE TO SUBMIT WELL-DOCUMENTED PROOF OF ELECTION IRREGULARITIES. I IMMEDIATELY ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE OF SMARTMATIC FOR A MANUAL RECOUNT. BUT NOT SURPRISINGLY, COMELEC REFUSED TO OPEN THE BALLOTS FOR MANUAL RECOUNT SAYING THAT THEY ARE ALREADY THE SUBJECT OF PROTEST.

    IF THEY REALLY HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE, THEY WILL NEVER BE AFRAID TO OPEN THE BALLOTS FOR MANUAL RECOUNT BEFORE THE PUBLIC. THE FACT THAT THEY REFUSED RAISES ALARM BELLS ABOUT ELECTION FRAUD.

    I HAVE HEARD THAT MANY CANDIDATES ARE PLANNING TO SUE SMARTMATIC AND COMELEC IN A CLASS ACTION SUIT FOR BILLIONS OF PESOS IN DAMAGES ARISING FROM THE REMOVAL OF ALMOST ALL SECURITY FEATURES OF THE PCOS.

  9. Alarm bell sa imong baga. Pulos ka lang pagraise ug doubt. Wa na lang unta ka mo protesta kay gusto man diay ka ug showdown diha atubangan sa publico ug sa mga media.

    Abugadong hungog. Nahibalo man ka nga kung masang-at na ang protesta mosunod na gyud na sa tama nga proseso sa paghusay sa protesta. Ayaw pasanginli ang comelec nga duna na sab silay gitaguan maong dili mosugot ug mag showdown pag recount.

    Basta dili pabor kanimo Glen, moalsa dayun ka ug mga pagduda. Samtang niadtong nag counting pa sa botos sa election didto sa mga precint, si Fr. Marvin Maceda nagsige ug panawag sa mga BEI. Dili ba kadto maoy angayan nga dudahan?

    I’m looking forward to the downfall of your political career built on hate, on June 30, 2010.

  10. #$#$ nimo Glen, ungag ug bugok kang dako pahilom diha wala ka nalay nahimo puro pamowa og pangumbinsi sa katawhan nabu ang naman siguro ka. ingna naguol ka kay daghan ka ug utang miliones kay nagtoo kaman nga cgurado ka nga modaog, maayo pa og magtubok ka sa lawod paghikog glen sakay og pumpboat og ambak sa lawod hikti imong li og og pisi onya botangi og bato ang tomoy sa pisi aron dili kana motonga mao nay tambal nimo wala kay kwentang tawo sa biliran

  11. nGAMAN MUDILI MAN ang COMELEC abrihan in PUBLIC ang mga ballots sa BILIRAN??? ABIR ABIR kung wala gud tlaga tinaguan nga hupas?

    MAHADLOK ba sila nga masabtan ang ilang hugaw og dili angayan nga mga lihok..???

    makaturog pa ba kaha ni sila?? dili uroy magsakit ilang tiyan nga ang ilang gilamon og gipalamon sa ilang pamilya gikan sa hugaw na paagi…

    buhi pa mo pero patay na inyo mga kalag…

    dili mo angay imodelo namong mga kabataan.

    dili man me magdemand og manual recount kung wala me mga evidences of fraud or mga possibilities of FRAUD dba?

    kaya manahimik nlang kau at MAGMANUAL RECOUNT NA SA BILIRAN PARA MAWALA NA ANG MASASAMANG LOOB SATIN AT UMASENSO NA TAYONG LAHAT.

    KUNG KINSA MAGDAOG SA MANUAL RECOUNT ATO N KANA RESPETOHON… OK?

  12. Ang naay gitago mahadlok maablihan ang mga balota sa Biliran.
    Ang naay padora box mahadlok masabtan sa tibuok kalibutan ang lisbot nga gibuhat sa BILIRAN..

    SIMPLE LOGIC kung walay limbong nganong di man paablihan ang balota? Nganong di man mag recount aron masabtan nato kung kinsa ang lisbutan or si kinsa ang dili.

    Kung way hukos pokus nganong di man mag recount aron masabtan sa tanan kung kinsa ang butboton sa mga kandidato nga nag claim nga silay midaog samiaging election..

  13. hoy ikaw friend ka jan…otok oi ambot kung asa na nimu gui butang nganu man na mahadlok man na human naman election araun la jud na musikat kunuhay kamu kay guisunod m sa comelec heheh liwat jud ka sa imu idol aw asa pa liwat nangalasaw na ang utok sobrahan sa paghuna huna unsaon pag ilad sa mga tawo kana raman mga tawo na walay hbawo ang mailad nya …hahahaha…ayaw ka suko ha ang maigo..kaila ko ana sa ila oi..sa una wala pana ma cong sa ila tindahan ug sa ila balay mag sge la na pamalikas sa iya mga suloguon ug trabahante sa ila tindahan…mao na ang mo ingun na mo tabang sa mag tawo sa billiran wala man gani makatabang ug pag alagad ug tarung sa ila mga suloguon na sa ila jud na na property nag trabaho…kamu pa kaha na wala..gui negosyo ra ta ani sad to say na naa jud tawo na bsan kaila na magpaka buta ug bungul tungod sa kwarta na ihatag kada semana ba to heheeh..aw ambot la…sama ani nag sge rally ana sila kusa la daw nila otot,,naa m bayad ug suporta sa ila idol..kay naa pa man daw kwarta si glenda….grabe nuh kadaghan ba diay,,aw mao bitaw na dli na ganhan m hawa kay na anugonan…mao iya jud ni kubuton sge yambat pasangil,,mao mani ang character ug bayot…anu bayot nuh,,,,heheheh

  14. kani si antulihaw sge ni sulti way bsihan da lami ni litsunon hahaha…kng makasulti parte sa comp.mura jud ug expert hahaha expert m guba hahaha..hilom antulihaw kay sa sunod ikaw amu padaganun para zero ka….hilom avatar ka…

  15. waykurat….libat ka ug bolok….cge kala yawyaw wana maeksakto sa pangutok…kusog ka pasanigl sa nagrally nga gibayran,,ikaw man ngani to nag unauna didto ug singgit…then, ngayon masuko ka nga wala bayari..hala ka way uwaw nimu tawhana ka…mao na meres kay nawong ka ug kwarta..

  16. ikaw waykurat…bayot man ngani ka…kay cge ka sungog kay Glen…gibayutan diay ka..dili tingali ka gwapa ano?????????sanglit waka pansina ni Glen…hay naku!!!!!!!!! e post gad ni oy para mabasa sad ni Waykurat…kini c Waykurat , wani boot kutob la saiya $#%!..

  17. Waykurat, wala man ka maayong batasan…wala kay kaikog pagpanamastamas sa ngalan ni Atty. Glenn Chong…ikaw, abogado kanaba, tulad ni Glen?..maayo pa c pare batang nime kay kamao pa mo tahod kinsa angayan tahuron.. .sayang lang pagpaeskwela sa imo guinikanan, wala man diay ka naantiguhan nga respeto sa usa ka katawo…tingale sagad na sa boto imo pongot…looy sa unggoy….

  18. UNSA MAY NAA NIANA UG ABLIHAN ANG BALOTA ARON
    MASOTA UG KINSA GYUD ANG TINUD-ANAY NGA MANANA=UG.
    KAKAK DIAY MON HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE DHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
    TALAWAN MGA ESPINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    SIGURADONG PILDE UG ABLIHAN HE HE HE HE HE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Wayjkurat Blog # 14:

    Unsay way utok…taka taka lang ka…Ikaw way utok kay modawat dayon ka ug resulta bisag gipaagi sa backdoor.
    Too diay kas resulta nga gi transmit nga pagsugod pa lang sa election??/ Asa man diay imong utok nga wa pa gani magbotos mga tawo naa nay resulta????

    Hala ka magyikero aning imong mga amo.. Ikaw pod instigador nga way kaluoy sa imong mga anak, mga apo puhod ug apo sa tuhod nga maoy magsagubang ug sigeg bayad sa buhis nga personal nga gigastos sa imong gi Diyos Diyos nga mga kiwkiwan???

    Hala ipadayon nang imong pag tilap tilap sa mga siki sa mga duguang tiil… Wa ko’y labot kung motambling tambling ka diha.. Ayaw lamang kami pugsa ug tood nga limpyo ang election kay basin tgamakan ka sa imong mga apo puhon sa imong kabakakon…

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