Trending

Newsletter

Mexican Voting Records Put Up For Sale on Amazon

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Apr 29, 2016, 10:14 am
padrón electoral
The National Electoral Institute said there no signs of database interference, except for the illegal delivery of some confidential document to a political party. (Eje Central)

EspañolA copy of the Mexican electoral roll documenting the February 2015 vote, with the names and addresses of 87.4 million Mexican citizens, went up for sale on Amazon.

INE specialists were informed on Tuesday of the database leak, and filed a complaint this past Wednesday against the person responsible. The Specialized Care and Cybernetics Electoral Crimes Prosecutor and federal police took the case immediately.

Chris Vickery, MacKeeper researcher of database defects said “anyone in the world could have potentially downloaded the logs. I’m a guy from Texas and I have them.”

According to user information, the census, with 93.4 million records, was discovered on an Amazon server on April 14 and  it was direct access.

“We are talking names, addresses, dates of birth and other data that could be misused by criminals,” Vickery said.

Mexico is a country with poor security and lots of kidnappings. Last year, at least 1,307 people were victims of plagiarism, and some 5,000 complaints were filed for extortion.

Electoral advisers and officials told the RFE there were no indications the standard safety systems have been violated or that there has been any other violation of the list or the computer base. They focused their initial statements on how political parties will be effected.

Those copies that were delivered to political parties are unique,” said adviser Benito Nacif, “but the investigation is ongoing.”

Yesterday morning, the census data was downloaded from Amazon’s cloud. An investigation has also started on the institute’s litigation unit.

Nacif said that the INE will issue guidelines to have a strong control over data access to those political parties through their representatives at the National Surveillance Commission Federal Register of Electors (RFE).

Minister Ciro Murayama reiterated the seriousness of the issue, as citizens’ home addresses are not available to political parties despite their appearing in the copy online.

In the February 15 copy, there were 27 attachments corresponding to the national list prior to the federal election.

“It is not a state process. It is a copy that was generated with all that information, that’s why (the leak) is something serious”, Murayama said.

Head of the RFE René Miranda said each copy has a security lock, which will identify the material that was improperly used.

Mexican authorities requested information from Amazon regarding who leaked the information, about the frequency of visits to the page and where the information was uploaded.

Officials from several political parties said it is very easy to detect who leaked it, because a specific cyber fingerprint pattern is set for consultation.

“Regardless of whether the perpetrators are political parties, the INE must review their internal protocols,” said Horacio Duarte, Representative of Morena.

Source: Aristegui Noticias.

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.