Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ecuador: Police Free Presidential Password Infiltrator

Police in Ecuador freed a blogger who was able to infiltrate into “secure data” belonging to President Rafael Correa.

“I’m free.  Many thanks to everyone,” Paul Moreno mentioned via his Twitter account on Monday after he was released from approximately three days of police custody.  He subsequently tweeted a photo of him accompanied by his parents outside of the jail where he was held.

Moreno “did not commit any 'hacking' activity or intrusion into global information” of the DatoSeguro national dignity database said a statement from Ecuador’s Public Information Registry.

The forty-two-year-old professor gained access to Correa’s personal information by creating a fake account under the president’s name in the DatoSeguro database.  He reportedly used online searches in order to obtain two key pieces of information: Correa’s date of birth and a national identification number.  Moreno got passed the third safeguard, a set of two numbers from an identity card, in order to read Correa’s private data such as bank account numbers and criminal infractions.

According to Wired.com’s Gadget Lab blog, Delgado posted on his website screenshots from the DatoSeguro site proving his claims and wrote how shockingly easy it was to gain access to Correa’s confidential information:
“Out of curiosity, I noticed one time that the fingertip digits in the IDS are all very similar,” he wrote on his blog. “There’s a V or an E or an A followed by various numbers: V23444 – E5444 and so on…combinations that are very simplistic, apparently. The system asked me for the third and fourth numbers of the fingertip digits. With the first combination, I got the numbers right and my account was created. After verifying the email the system sends, I had access to all Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado’s so-called secure data. It took me about half an hour, maybe less.”
Moreno claimed that his goal was to point out security flaws in the DatoSeguro system but on Friday police detained him.  His detention led to a social media outcry that included the increased use of the Twitter hash tag #LiberenaPaulcoyote (translated as #FreePaulCoyote).

Despite the public outcry Moreno’s liberation may’ve come about due to support from President Correa.  “If you have any information, dearest Paul, you have my permission to publish it.  This president has nothing to hide,” declared Correa at a public event over the weekend according to the video at the top of this post.

Video Source– YouTube via user Ramiro Vallejo

Online Sources – Wired.com, Twitter, LaHora.ec, El Comercio

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