Portuguese hacker attacked Brazilian municipal elections


A Portuguese hacker admitted to having penetrated the system of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) of Brazil last Sunday, during the first round of the municipal elections.

The hacker, who identifies himself as Zambrius, currently under house arrest, confessed to the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, stating that he acted alone and carried out the attack using his mobile phone.

“I’m with no computer. If you had it, believe that the attack would have a much greater impact », wrote the 19-year-old hacker, who said he was dedicated to exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems.

Investigations tried to link this crime to “extremists linked to Bolsonarist nuclei”, writes the Brazilian newspaper, but Zambrius comes to refute this hypothesis, guaranteeing that he carried out the attack just for “fun”.

Attack in three parts

The local elections were marked by «three different events», describes the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo.

The first, registered around 9:00 am, consisted of disclosing data from the TSE website to a Twitter account, which was immediately suspended.

Later, at around 11 am, an attack overwhelmed the court’s website, making searches at this address slower.

The last attack caused “a delay in the adaptation of the artificial intelligence of the TSE supercomputer, in Brasília, which receives the votes for the totalization of the results”.

According to the hacker, who is being monitored by Portuguese authorities and who was arrested for the first time in 2017, at the age of 16, his involvement was limited to the first two attacks and, so far, writes the Brazilian newspaper, «the performance Bolsonaro’s allies in the turmoil was confirmed only in the spread of false news ».

No reason to alarm

The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, had already questioned the electronic system of vote counting carried out by the Electoral Justice, affirming that the country must “have a system of counting [de votos] that leaves no doubt ». “That’s it. It has to be reliable and fast. Leave no room for assumptions ».

However, the authorities are devaluing the attack and claim that the “leak” of information has “no relevance” and has “no importance for the electoral process”.

«This attack apparently had its origin in Portugal and, always remembering, the polls [eletrónicas] are not networked [conectadas à internet]therefore, they are not vulnerable to any type of attack during the electoral process ”, stated TSE president Luis Roberto Barroso last Sunday.

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