The sinister fact in Smartmatic’s script change

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SMARTMATIC must be investigated and prosecuted. For one reason or another, it has behaved as if Lucifer himself was wielding this UK-backed Venezuelan company’s power over our Commission on Elections and the entire Filipino electorate.

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Ever since it became the veritable operator of our election system in 2010, it has raked in scores of billions while making a mess of our election process. Along the way, good, responsible lower officials and ordinary citizens have complained of Smartmatic’s mistakes and deliberate irregularities in its handling of our election system. But the complaints were ignored and the irregularities were found to be “okay” by Comelec commissioners, our high officials and even some of our courts.

It is good that now Smartmatic is “in deep trouble for its ‘unauthorized’ alteration of a computer script that automatically changed the hash code of the transparency server at the command center of the Church-based election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).”

Comelec, and even our columnist Gus Lagman (a former Comelec commissioner), are heaving a sigh of relief that the unauthorized alteration was “minor” one that does not affect the vote count and, therefore, the election result.
We don’t share their optimism.

We are not experts. But the first thing that came to our mind was the suspicion that if Smartmatic’s men can make unauthorized alterations—while the canvassing is in progress—without anyone getting angry and calling for blood and retribution, then they can also make alterations on the results without anyone noticing and protesting!

We are glad to have received from Rene Azurin, an expert and a convenor of the election watchdog AES WATCH, a statement exactly about the danger that we suspected.
Below is the statement in full.

Statement on the Smartmatic script change

Everyone totally misses the point about a Smartmatic person changing a line in the canvassing program to replace a “?” character into an “ñ”. The essential point in this matter is not that the change was “minor”; the crucial issue is that a Smartmatic technician had access to the server program while the canvassing was going on. This is a serious security breach and should not have been allowed. If that technician can change one character, he can change other things as well.

Indeed, one can speculate that the so-called “minor change” might have been deliberately intended to act as a trigger to launch a sleeping worm or Trojan horse already embedded in the system and programmed to make major changes, including the altering of vote counts. Thus, the Smartmatic spokesman could claim with a straight face that the script change he made was “minor”, while neglecting to say that this trivial change was the trigger for another script that would make major outcome-altering changes.

In fact, the Smartmatic action is expressly prohibited under our Automated Election System Law (RA 9369). Section 35(c) prohibits “gaining or causing access to using, altering, destroying or disclosing any computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified.” Such acts are prohibited whether or not any election results are affected.
Among the numerous deficiencies in the conduct of the two prior automated elections, these very similar incidents are worth bearing in mind:

(1) In 2010, a Smartmatic technician cavalierly accessed the canvassing program to change the number of voters after the tally showed an erroneous 256 million as the total number of registered voters; and

(2) In 2013, a Smartmatic technician accessed the canvassing server to correct a script that produced an astonishing 12-million vote surge barely two hours into the canvassing.
(Uncorrected, that surge would have produced an aggregate vote far exceeding the total number of registered voters.) These incidents indicate major flaws in the Smartmatic system that our Commission on Elections has been so bent on foisting on the Filipino people.

This now puts the entire canvassing process in serious doubt. The integrity of the automated results can now be reasonably questioned.

RENÉ AZURIN Author, Hacking Our Democracy, and Convener, AES Watch

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11 Comments

  1. Daniel B. Laurente on

    I am not an IT expert but my take on this changes from ? to other letter was really a trigger to alter the program of the software that was already in place. It is deliberately intended to show it is minor because it involved only one character but in this character lies incripted program that will alter the function of the whole software program.

  2. Shut the fV<|< up and look at the election returns, compare them with the certificates of canvass from the provincial boards of canvassers. Don't be lazy.

  3. PPCRV in the thick of unofficial vote counting to make it credible? You got to be kidding? Priests to be in-charge of vote counting, it’s likes giving a key of a bank safe to a robber.

    • Daniel B. Laurente on

      I really don’t understands why this group of priest interferes with comelec works. They are not really holy ghost but just group of ghost that jump over their fence that started from the time of Cardinal Sin.

  4. saan galing ang 9m na bumoto kay roxas. ang alam ko ay pamilya araneta lang at aquino ang bumoto sa kanya.

  5. Rudi Miranda on

    Maraming Salamat! Comelec must respond to the observation/question. Nangyayari na noong 2010 at 2013, bakit ang Smartmatic pa rin ang pinili, at tuloy meron nanaman gulo between Marcos and Robredo? Dapat sagutin ng Comelec sa madlang people, bakit Smartmatic pa rin kahit meron ng 2 gulo noong 2010 at 2013, hindi tayo noon nag move on. Comelec please reply. Mangyayari pa kaya ang ganire sa watch ni Duterte? Malay natin, madali tayong nakakalimut. Ba’t kaya?

  6. Danny Cascolan on

    XSiguro Ganito

    Dilaw Komiks Presents
    Hokus Pokus

    Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
    Anu resulta ng mga nakargahan na mga balota?

    Sindikatong Smartelec:
    Yes Sir, May Good news at Bad news.
    Good News, Patok ang 5 Million padding pre-loaded votes ikinarga natin kay duterte para makasigurado, mga boto na ibinawas natin sa tatlong kandidato, tama ang plano ninyo na maglagay ng dalawng buffer na sina Poe at Roxas, imposible makaangat si Binay at Miriam, walang nakahalata at nangunguna na ang tunay mong manok na si duterte Sir.

    Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
    Magaling! Anu un Bad news?

    Sindikatong Smartelec:
    Ang Bad news e nagkulang pa rin ang 3 Million na padding pre loaded na votes na idinagdag namin kay Leni, masyado maraming bumoto kay Bongbong Marcos.

    Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
    Hindi maaari yan! %¿~¡°>®##+#+
    Gumawa kayo ng paraan!

    ….after 8 hours

    Sindikatong Smartelec:
    Yes Sir, May Good news at Bad news at Bad news.
    Ang Good news ay pinatakbo na namin ang virus program na nagbabawas lalo ng boto ng ibang kandidato ng pagka-bise presidente at idinadagdag kay Leni.

    Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
    Anu un Bad news.

    Sindikatong Smartelec:
    Ang Bad news e nagkaruon na ng ideya ang mga mamamayan kung paano natin dinaya ang botohan nang magprotesta sila sa pagka-nullify ng hash codes ng ating ahente, hindi natin mapaniwala sa mababaw na dahilan.

    Sindikatong Emilio Aguinaldo:
    Ituloy ninyo lang, dedmahan lang ang diskarte, nasa atin lahat ang materyales, wala silang ebidensya.
    Anu un isa pang Bad news?

    Sindikatong Smartelec:
    Ang Bad news ay nagka ideya na ang maraming mamamayan na si Bongbong Marcos ang tunay na nakakuha ng pinakamalaking boto pangkalahatan higit pa sa boto ni duterte na dinaya na nga lang natin.

    Itutuloy…


    Lol yan nga ang problema sa pcos vcm, blindfold results na pwede iprogram, walang pinanghahawakan na ebidensya kongkreto ang mga mamamayan na nakita at nasaksihan nila ang bilangan, tapos ngayun ang hihingian ninyo ng ebidensya ay ang mga mamamayan?

    PPCRV = Parish Pastoral Cheat Revise Votes

  7. michael richardson on

    About COMELEC and SMARTMATIC’s claim that all the VCMS had the same hash code
    before the election.

    A lot is talked about the so called ‘hash code’ as though it is similar to DNA. Actually, it is nothing of the sort. It is true that if two program objects have different hash codes, the respective program objects must be different – but anyone who knows anything about it will tell you that the converse is NOT true.

    i.e. if two program objects have the SAME hash code it does not imply that the program objects are EQUAL. i.e. The total number of hash codes is less than the total number of possible programs (you could repeat a program line a number of times without changing the
    functionality and get a different hash code).

    Therefore there is not a ‘one to one correspondence’ between every possible program, and every possible hash code.

    It follows that you could produce any number of different programs all with the same hash code with different functionalities!!

    Of course, to do such a thing in order to influence the result of an election would be CORRUPT – and we know that sort of thing couldn’t happen in the Philippines!

  8. ernie del rosario on

    Is it possible that Smartmatic now has a stealthy Philippine Division (we can aptly call “The Rigging Company”) which main business is selling election “wins” to running politicians in elections at prices scaled linearly along the position hierarchy ? This is the more efficient, profitable and less risky of being exposed way of doing it rather than using agents to sell the services to whom Smartmatic has to pay hefty commissions and risk being squealed on ? Why not , anyway this has been a lucrative business since 2010.

    • Andres Luna on

      The “SMARTMATIC-COMELEC MAFIA SYNDICATE” started their operations in 2010,raking in mega billions from several politician clients from all over the Philippines.T he syndicate continued to cater to the Team PNOY ,Nancy BINAY and several LGU reelectionists in the 2013 Elections.
      In the 2016 Elections,PNOY/LP had a “PACKAGE DEAL” with the Syndicate for their candidates nationwide.
      WHAT WENT WRONG ?It was too late for the Syndicate to make adjustments.
      BAD KARMA For the PNOY/LP!