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Fri Apr 1, 2016, 04:39 PM

Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade

Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade

By Lulu Chang — April 1, 2016

In this day and age, everything lies at the mercy of technology. Even our democratic processes. In a proactively titled new piece in Bloomberg, “How to Hack an Election,” hacker extraordinaire Andrés Sepúlveda tells a story of how he allegedly rigged elections throughout Central and South America for nearly ten years. The computer whiz currently sits behind bars as part of a 10-year prison sentence, the result of his involvement in Colombia’s 2014 election hacking scandal. But according to this latest report, 2014 was just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, in nearly 5,000 words, Bloomberg details the extent to which the Latin American political system has been shaped by one man, and several computers.

Branded most kindly as an “online campaign strategist,” Sepúlveda tells Bloomberg. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors — the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see.” The 31-year-old started his nefarious career back in 2005, initially completing much smaller, less substantial tasks. He would deface campaign websites, break into opponents’ donor bases — you know, your more run-of-the-mill illegal online activity.

But as his expertise and reputation grew, so too did the size of his jobs. He began putting together entire teams who ran digital smearing, hacking, and other unsavory campaigns. And then, in 2012, operating under a $600,000 budget, Sepúlveda says that the zenith of his career came with the Enrique Peña Nieto election in Mexico. “He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory,” Bloomberg reports.

On Thursday evening, Nieto’s office adamantly denied any involvement with the hacker, stating, “We reject any relationship between the 2012 presidential campaign team and Andrés Sepúlveda.” And of course, Sepúlveda says he’s destroyed all the evidence, drilling holes in flash drives, hard drives, cell phones, and anything else even remotely incriminating.


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Reply Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2016 OP
Judi Lynn Apr 2016 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 05:36 PM

1. A Hacker Said He Rigged the 2012 Mexican Election, and It May Still Be Happening Today

A Hacker Said He Rigged the 2012 Mexican Election, and It May Still Be Happening Today

By Oscar Balderas and Nathaniel Janowitz
April 1, 2016 | 2:15 pm

An imprisoned Colombian hacker, Andrés Sepúlveda, claims he fraudulently helped Enrique Peña Nieto win Mexico's 2012 presidential election, as well as manipulate elections in eight additional countries across Latin America.

Sepúlveda's interview with Bloomberg Businessweek caused a stir throughout Latin America, as well as the United States, particularly for the alleged involvement of Juan Jose Rendón, a Miami-based political consultant who, Bloomberg wrote, has been called the Karl Rove of Latin America for his dark influence on right-wing politics.

And according to the campaign manager for the candidate whom Peña Nieto beat, cybercrimes of the sort Sepúlveda alleged are still happening in Mexican politics.

The hacker claimed that Rendón hired him repeatedly to commit a wide variety of crimes to affect the outcomes of elections, including installing malware, hacking websites, creating fake profiles, and digitally spying on opposition candidates.



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