Trending

Newsletter

Anonymous Hacks Honduras’s Elections Website

By: Sofía Ramírez Fionda - Dec 2, 2013, 7:49 pm

EspañolAs of the evening of December 2, the international network of hacktivists, Anonymous, has successfully hacked the website of Honduras’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). This came just a few hours after the tribunal announced its willingness to recount the votes and review the official electoral records of the recent presidential elections, held on November 24.

In the website, Anonymous Honduras declares “we commit the sin of giving you the benefit of the doubt, even when we are certain that your institutions are useless, and don’t serve anyone but the one that has the money and the power in this country. We can no longer tolerate this and the help of your bribed media, who want the people to stay quiet and consume the process no matter what.”

In their message, they inform of a portal where they have allegedly collected evidence of electoral fraud. They also call for peaceful protests as a way to demand freedom. They ask people to “remember they have the weapons and money, we only have our voice, indignation and our desire for freedom. If you’re abroad, protest in front of embassies. If we don’t wake up now that we can, there won’t be another possible moment.”

Update: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Soon after we published this story, at around 8 p.m. EST on Monday, the TSE regained control of its website — after only about two hours of it being hijacked. Until 11 a.m. this morning, however, the site remained “Under Construction.” “Come Back Soon,” was all it said, but it is now back live with its content available again.

Anonymous Honduras has not given up, though. As of this morning, they have managed to infiltrate parts of various government agency sites, including the Instituto de Conservación Forestal and the Instituto de Acceso a la Información Pública.


Guillermo Peña Panting, executive director of Honduras’s classical liberal policy institute, Eléutera, does not believe the exercise will have any repercussions. The “presidential election had already been declared,” he said via email.

An independent group of computer programmers and volunteers has already scoured the counting for errors, and they have found the results to be basically correct. Even if they were slightly off, a more than 7 percent margin would be difficult for the second-place candidate to recoup.

However, Elena Toledo, a Honduran blogger, is more sympathetic to their acts.

“On one hand,” she says, “they demonstrate the system’s vulnerability, and on the other, they voice the people’s rejection of the fraudulent electoral process.”

Gina Kawas — a policy liaison and Young Voices Advocate in Honduras — says the hacking must have been planned well in advance, since the site had been prepared for such an attack. And she doesn’t believe Anonymous Honduras is aligned with Partido LIBRE and Xiomara Castro. Rather, “they are more inclined to the new Anti Corruption Party.”

In terms of the sentiment among the population, Kawas believes young people in particular are viewing it positively and praising it via Twitter. She affirms Toledo’s sentiment about the TSE’s vulnerability, and says these attacks embarrass the institutions.

TSE Screenshot, as of Monday, 7:45 p.m. EST:

Anonymous Hacks Honduras's Elections Website

Translated by Marcela Estrada.

Sofía Ramírez Fionda Sofía Ramírez Fionda

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ramírez Fionda is a former Spanish-language editor and journalist with the PanAm Post. She holds degrees in political science and international relations, and you can follow her on Twitter @SofiFionda.