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Cybercriminals Target Websites of Guatemalan Government
Americas Technology

Cybercriminals Target Websites of Guatemalan Government

On Saturday, hackers associated with the activist group Anonymous caused a national security incident in Guatemala by disabling several government websites, as reported by Guatemalan authorities.

The assaults were in aid of protests organized by Indigenous groups in the nation of Central America.

For nearly two weeks, protesters have been demanding that Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras step down, accusing her of attempting to undermine the democratic election of progressive candidate Bernardo Arévalo as the next president.

Posting on the social media website X, formerly known as Twitter, hackers under the handle @AnonGTReloaded announced, “This October 14 #Anonymous will attack the Government of Guatemala, but this time we do not come alone.”

The hackers utilized distributed denial-of-service attacks to inundate government websites with automated traffic, causing them to crash.

Several websites, including those for the judicial branch, Department of Agriculture, and the General Secretary of the president, were attacked. While some were restored promptly, others remained inaccessible.

The Guatemalan government stated that the cyber attack was a concern for “national security” and they are taking action in response.

A police officer walks out of the electrical engineering building on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Jan. 21, 2014.

On January 21, 2014, a law enforcement officer exits the electrical engineering building at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

After two weeks of demonstrations and blockades, there have been recent incidents of violence. Many Native individuals have called for the resignation of Porras and prosecutors Rafael Curruchiche and Cinthia Monterroso, as well as Judge Fredy Orellana, alleging that they pose a threat to the nation’s democratic system.

Protesters claim that following Arévalo’s win in the August election, Porras launched an anti-democratic attack on Arévalo, his left-wing Seed Movement party, and the electoral authorities.

A member of Anonymous, who participated in the cyberattack, expressed their motives as being in support of humanity and the current protests in Guatemala against corruption and impunity. However, they requested to remain anonymous to avoid potential legal consequences.

On Saturday morning, a large group of protesters gathered around Miguel Martínez, a former official and close friend of current President Alejandro Giammattei, as he was being escorted by security officers from a Mass in Antigua, Guatemala.

According to videos shared on social media, demonstrators alleged that Martínez was involved in corrupt activities. However, there is currently no information indicating that the prosecutor’s office is investigating him.