This year, the well-known hacktivist group Guacamaya turned its sights towards the most important armies of this American region. It is not the first time this group has released sensitive information, which concerns environmental issues, corruption, and human rights (especially those towards women and ethnic groups). However, this time the hacked information shows data that puts the armies in check. Learn all the details in the following lines.
Hacktivist group Guacamaya reveals worrying secrets of Latin American armies
During September, an unusual amount of information pertaining to the different movements of different Latin American armies was distributed. The mastermind behind this was the Guacamaya hacktivist group, which shed light on shady operations and movements of armies that are supposed to defend the countries and civilians of the region.
Distrusting such information is absurd since the group ensures that those who have access to it are reliable journalists, and those who fight for the same as these hacktivists. Since that month, several journalists from countries such as Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and El Salvador are investigating this information.
It is not yet known if there are more countries involved. It is suspected that they started with these due to their links with drug trafficking, but there is no doubt that there may be other countries whose information they stole but have not revealed.
In the TB of information the journalists obtained, emails used to communicate between the different branches of these armies are revealed. Many of these have classified information that only the intelligence services of these organizations should have.
The country that gets the worst of this information is Mexico
“With the little that I have seen for the scale that it is, I feel that it is very serious information. I think that this can cause a collapse of institutions, due to the issue of corruption that is seen, how contracts are moved, military operations… There is an x-ray of the history of Mexican corruption and the repression of the last 10 years,” says Alberto Escorcia, a journalist specializing in cyberattacks.
While Nadia Sanders, editor of the site La Lista, assures BBC Mundo: “It is very, very, very sensitive information, which violates it from many sides. I am concerned about who else can have access to this and market it.”
Despite the fact that Guacamaya has a directory of journalists, whom they have investigated, it will never be known how far the leaked information can go. Much of the information obtained shows vital operations like the arrest of drug trafficking figures, security for members of the government’s high cabinet and their families, as well as dealings with armies of other countries both inside and outside the region, along with security plans in case of attacks or problems that put the country at risk.
However, Mexico is in the middle of the controversy because the same emails reveal that the army’s intelligence monitors closely follow groups and organizations of activists that, according to them, are a danger to the country’s security, when it is known that they are only against the policies of the current government. In addition, the use that Mexico gave to the Pegasus software has been known for a long time. President Manuel Lopez Obrador has downplayed this leak and assured that neither his government nor his army monitor any character opposed to him or civilians in this way.
There are also emails that speak of his dealings with drug traffickers, followed by relations between governors and other government figures with alleged criminals. What is most worrying are the emails that speak of the Ayotzinapa students and how this painful event for the Mexican people was handled.
About the other countries, the information is similar, but without as much corruption as Mexico. And the journalists are intrigued that there is nothing from Colombia when, according to the group’s statement, that army is also included in the information hacked.
How this security breach was achieved
Simple: Microsoft has reported problems on its Exchange server during the year, so it keeps reminding its users that they must install their new security patches, but it seems that the armies ignored it and continued to use Microsoft services.
In the case of Mexico, it seems that the decision of the computer security part was to change the mail service to a more economically accessible one, due to a budget cut by the government, which made Guacamaya’s job easier.
Now, it only remains to wait if Guacamaya has more information that they haven’t revealed, especially from other countries, and see how they continue in their fight for human rights.
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Foto de David Clode en Unsplash.
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