A group of hackers extracted secret files from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) of Mexico, which manages the Army and Air Force, and exposed state issues such as unknown aspects about the health of the country’s president.
“It’s true, there was a cyber attack,” admitted the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at his usual daily press conference, where in recent weeks he has assured several times that he feels in good health. “Everything that is said there is true (…) I have several ailments,” he added.
The theft of some six terabytes, which was exposed the day before by the local news portal Latinus, revealed that military doctors diagnosed gout, hypothyroidism and “serious risk unstable angina” to the ruler, who suffered a heart attack in 2013, suffers from hypertension and had twice COVID-19.
The cyberattack was claimed by a group of hackers identified as Guacamaya.
A week earlier, an investigation was ordered in Chile into a “security flaw” detected in the emails of the military leadership. The cyber attack was also attributed to the same group of hackers.
It was about the leak of more than 400,000 emails from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
What is known about Macaw?
Guacamaya defines itself as a group against “North American imperialism”, they criticize “the United States with its military and political interventions, together with the neo-colonialism of extractivist companies, the territory of Abya Yala is distributed as it pleases”, according to a manifesto posted on his Twitter account.
The group maintains that “we just want Latin Americans to know the truth of what is happening in each country.”
The military forces have been one of their main targets, because they are considered instruments of colonialism. “It is in these supposed independences and in a supposed path to freedom and democracy, where the armed armies are created under political constitutions”, they mention.
Information leaked by hacktivists
When the leak of thousands of emails from the Chilean military leadership became known, the senator and member of that defense committee of the upper house, Kenneth Pugh, told El Mostrador that the leak should not include sensitive information, since he pointed out that this data type is handled by other means. But that assumption was not correct.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff groups the three branches of the Armed Forces and works together with the Ministry of Defense.
The email accounts of EMCO officials that were intervened are 162. In total, more than 400,000 messages sent and received by those boxes were exposed between 2012 and May 2022, although most are concentrated from 2018 onwards, indicates a report del medio, which had access to the messages.
According to the newspaper El Mercurio , among the files released would be some related to the events that occurred after the massive social demonstrations that broke out in Chile on October 18, 2019, which lasted for several weeks and resulted in thirty deaths.
Ciper points out that the leak includes documents that expose the Integrated Joint Intelligence System, in which, among others, the Northern Joint Command and the Southern Joint Command participate.
“These files attached to the emails contain, for example, data on the cybersecurity strategy implemented by the Armed Forces for at least a decade: software, providers, system operation, description of the equipment and the identification of the officers. those in charge of the programs”, indicates Ciper.
Negligence of the Chilean army?
In an interview with BioBioChile, the Guacamaya group denounced a negligent act of the advisory body of the Ministry of Defense.
“A Chilean cybersecurity company alerted (of the vulnerability) in August 2021 (…) The EMCO chose to leave it open,” the group said in an interview with the Chilean media.
According to BioBio, there is more history, such as a failed tender in December 2021 to review and repair the mail servers that would later be the target of cyberattacks. The public contest never saw the light: it had to be revoked just days later due to “budgetary” problems.
The Chilean government investigates
The Ministry of National Defense said on the night of Wednesday, September 21, that due to “the security flaw in the emails of the Joint Chiefs of Staff”, President Gabriel Boric instructed the return of Minister Maya Fernández, who was accompanying him on an official trip. on the occasion of the UN General Assembly in New York, “to lead the response to these events”.
“The government has ordered an administrative summary to determine the corresponding responsibilities. Additionally, the records have been made available to the military justice to give rise to criminal investigation,” added the brief press release.
Congress summoned Minister Fernández and the three intelligence chiefs of the three branches of the Chilean Armed Forces to appear due to the seriousness of the leak.
The macaw whites
In addition to Mexico and Chile, Guacamaya announced upcoming information leaks from the police and armies of Peru, El Salvador, and Colombia.
In early August, in Colombia, 5 TB of emails from the Attorney General’s office were revealed, which has been linked to various acts of corruption.
The DdoSecret site reported that the group obtained 175,000 emails from the Peruvian Army, as well as 10 million emails from the National Civil Police and 250,000 from the Salvadoran Armed Forces. In neither case has the information been made public.
With information from AFP and Reuters