HomeNewsBriefBrazil Investigating Hack of Military Police Data
BRIEF

Brazil Investigating Hack of Military Police Data

BRAZIL / 17 SEP 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

Brazil's authorities have launched an investigation after hackers stole, then published the personal details of 50,000 Rio de Janeiro military police. The hack may be more related to social protests in that country but illustrates the vulnerability of official databases.

Addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers and emails were published over the weekend on the Facebook page of a group called "Anoncyber and Cyb3rgh0sts," which had earlier published the logo of global hacktivist network Anonymous, reported CBN Foz.

Anonymous' Rio branch denied any connection. An apology was later published on the Anoncyber and Cyb3rgh0sts page, with administrators stating the leak had been carried out by one of its members without permission. Using this kind of information had the potential for "negative consequences," said the groups, "which is exactly what happened," reported Convergencia Digital.

Hackers also attacked Rio's state legislative assembly website, said Estadão newspaper, with the page on Saturday and Sunday showing an animated pirate dancing, accompanied by a message in English reading: "Do what you want [be]cause a pirate is free! You are a pirate!" El Jornal reported that Anonymous had claimed responsibility for that attack and labeled it a protest against a new law banning the use of masks during demonstrations in Brazil's capital.

InSight Crime Analysis

While there is some confusion over exactly who is responsible for these attacks and why, one thing is clear: cyber criminals have the potential to wreak havoc on Latin American institutions and put people in real danger in the process. The clear vulnerability of the state assembly's website leaves it open to much more serious attacks.

But the public dissemination of the addresses of Brazilian police officers, for whom there is serious public anger and distrust, and who are in deadly battles with street gangs, certainly could be dangerous. Rio police have a long history of severe corruption and violence, killing one person for every 23 arrested in 2008 -- compared to the US rate the same year of one in every 37,000.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Cyber Crime

InSight Crime has reported on the growing use of the internet by organized criminals, activity which is costing the region billions of dollars a year and is getting increasingly imaginative. A  report commissioned by the Organization of American Statesearlier this year highlighted how organized criminals were specifically targeting weaknesses in their home countries, and how law enforcement and governments were failing to keep up with advancing technology.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 29 SEP 2022

Brazil is facing a presidential election that could genuinely reshape its criminal landscape. How do Bolsonaro and Lula compare?…

BRAZIL / 21 JUN 2022

Sergio Roberto de Carvalho, known as the "Brazilian Pablo Escobar," has been arrested in Hungary.

CARIBBEAN / 9 MAR 2022

The Dominican Republic has dismantled a transnational cybercrime network believed to have defrauded hundreds of US citizens to the tune…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…