27 APR 2022, In a press briefing with Acting Presidential Spokesperson of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Martin Andanar, the Executive Director of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) Undersecretary Cezar O. Mancao II reported that on Sunday, April 24, 2022, the CICC in collaboration with the Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) arrested three (3) members of the hacker group XSOX who threatened to use the data they had obtained in data breaches, including the Smartmatic breach last January 2022.

Cases against the suspects were filed on Monday, April 25, 2022, under the violation of Republic Act No. 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, particularly System Interference, Illegal Access, and the Attempt to Commit a Cybercrime. The suspects are currently being held in Camp Crame.

Usec. Mancao addressed the suspects as “scammers” pretending to be able to produce results in favor of potential clients. Even if they are able to manipulate the Smartmatic systems, the COMELEC still has control and has, through experience in previous elections, improved their security. Any services claiming the ability to rig or cheat the elections are just scams by groups such as the arrested suspects.

For the full coverage of the interview, follow this link: “CICC Executive Director Usec. Cezar O. Mancao II with the Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)”