Why The COMELEC Voters Data Breach Is No Joke

I was happily eating my afternoon merienda earlier when a friend messaged me on Facebook asking me if my name also appears in the freshly uploaded website created by the hackers who breached COMELEC's Voters Database several days ago. Her note was in all caps.

I dropped the bread I was holding and frantically checked the site. I quickly searched for my name and to my horror, the result gave me this list of confidential information about myself. It was absolutely frustrating.

Apparently, I'm one of the more than 50 million registered voters who've fallen victim to the perpetrators of one of the biggest cybercrimes ever committed in the Philippines thus far.

Our full names, fingerprint information, exact birthdays, the names of our parents, and even our home addresses were disclosed for public perusal without our approval.

Some may see this unwarranted disclosure of private information as no big deal -- but for me, it is no laughing matter. In fact, because it puts all victims in danger of falling prey to other crimes like identity theft, it should be condemned.

Since our private details are not out in public, criminals who want to steal our accounts or identities now have easier access to information that can help them do that more easily.

For instance, using data from that site, they could make fake social media accounts using our accurate personal information to dupe and spoof our friends for goods or money. Also, these crooks could use our private details to get pass bank verification and access to our accounts.

Who knows? Some might even spy on us, visit our residences, and enter our homes by mentioning the names of our parents. Remember the modus operandi of the horrible budol-budol gang?

Look, I'm not trying to scare other victims. What I'm saying is, we are now in a very precarious situation -- so we should be very vigilant. And let's ask our loved ones and friend to do the same.

In the meantime, let's avoid sharing the website on our social networking accounts. Let's keep it from spreading further. (Earlier, I made the mistake of posting it on Facebook -- but I've already taken down the status update.)

I can only hope that our government is doing everything it can to bring down that site at the soonest possible time and to reclaim our stolen personal information -- before it's too late.