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Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

October 17, 2023 | by b1og.net

hackers-launch-cyberattack-on-guatemalan-government-webpages-in-support-of-pro-democracy-protests
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Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

In a recent cyberattack on the Guatemalan government, hackers affiliated with the activist group Anonymous disabled multiple government webpages in support of pro-democracy protests led by Indigenous organizations in the country. These demonstrations have been calling for the resignation of Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras, accusing her of attempting to undermine the popular vote that elected progressive Bernardo Arévalo as the president-elect. The hackers, who identified themselves as @AnonGTReloaded, targeted various government webpages through distributed denial-of-service attacks, causing disruptions and crashes. The authorities in Guatemala have classified this attack as a matter of national security and are taking measures to respond. This incident comes after thirteen days of widespread protests and road closures, as thousands of Indigenous people demand the resignation of Porras and other prosecutors and judges, accusing them of endangering the country’s democracy. The hackers, involved in the cyberattack, state that their actions are in support of the people fighting against corruption and impunity in Guatemala.

Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

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Overview of the cyberattack

On October 14, 2023, hackers affiliated with the activist group Anonymous launched a cyberattack on multiple Guatemalan government webpages. The attack was carried out in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests led by Indigenous organizations in Guatemala. The hackers targeted government webpages using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which involved flooding the sites with automated traffic until they crashed. This cyberattack has been regarded as a significant national security incident by Guatemalan authorities.

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Motivation behind the attack

The primary motivation behind the cyberattack was to express support for the pro-democracy protests taking place in Guatemala. The demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras, accusing her of attempting to invalidate the recent presidential election. The hackers aimed to amplify the voices of the protesters and draw attention to their grievances through targeted cyberattacks against government webpages.

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Targeted government webpages

The hackers focused their attention on disabling various government webpages in Guatemala. Specifically, the webpages associated with Guatemala’s judicial branch, the Department of Agriculture, and the General Secretary of the president were among the targets. While some of the affected pages were reinstated relatively quickly, others remained inaccessible for a longer period.

Techniques used in the attack

To carry out the cyberattack, the hackers employed a combination of techniques, with the primary one being distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. This technique involves overwhelming a targeted website with an incessant flood of automated traffic, rendering it unable to function properly or completely crashing it. By utilizing these tactics, the hackers were able to disrupt the government webpages they targeted and amplify the impact of their attack.

Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

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Response of Guatemalan authorities

The cyberattack on the government webpages was swiftly classified as a matter of national security by Guatemalan authorities. Efforts were immediately undertaken to reinstate the disabled webpages and address the technical issues caused by the attack. Additionally, security agencies initiated an investigation to identify the individuals responsible for the cyberattack. The authorities are taking the incident seriously and are committed to strengthening cybersecurity measures to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Background of pro-democracy protests

The pro-democracy protests in Guatemala have been ongoing for almost two weeks. Indigenous organizations have been leading these demonstrations, demanding the resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras. The protesters allege that Porras has made attempts to undermine the popular vote and challenge the legitimacy of the newly elected president, Bernardo Arévalo.

Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

Calls for resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras

The main focus of the demonstrators’ demands is the resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras. The protesters have made serious accusations against Porras, including claims of undermining the popular vote and engaging in undemocratic practices. They argue that her actions and decisions pose a threat to the country’s democracy and hinder the progress of the newly elected president, Bernardo Arévalo.

Allegations against Porras and other officials

In addition to the allegations leveled against Attorney General Consuelo Porras, the protesters have also directed their grievances towards other officials, including prosecutors Rafael Curruchiche and Cinthia Monterroso, as well as Judge Fredy Orellana. The demonstrators accuse these individuals of endangering Guatemala’s democracy through their actions and decisions. They further claim that these officials have challenged the legitimacy and victory of Bernardo Arévalo in the August runoff election.

Hackers Launch Cyberattack on Guatemalan Government Webpages in Support of Pro-Democracy Protests

Involvement of Anonymous

The cyberattack on the Guatemalan government webpages was carried out by hackers affiliated with the activist group Anonymous. Anonymous is known for its engagement in various digital actions to promote causes related to social justice and democracy. By launching this cyberattack, Anonymous sought to support the pro-democracy protesters in Guatemala and draw attention to their demands for accountability and transparency in the country’s governance.

Support for the protesters

The cyberattack launched by Anonymous highlights the support that the pro-democracy protesters in Guatemala have received globally. The attack aimed to amplify the voices of the protesters, drawing attention to their grievances and calling for reforms that prioritize democracy, transparency, and accountability. The incident serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of activism and technological tools in advocating for social and political change.

Incident involving Miguel Martínez

Another significant event in the context of the pro-democracy protests in Guatemala was the incident involving Miguel Martínez. Martínez, a former official and personal friend of President Alejandro Giammattei, was surrounded by protesters as he was escorted from a mass in Antigua, Guatemala. The protesters accused Martínez of corruption, although he is not currently under investigation by the prosecutor’s office. This incident further underscores the growing dissatisfaction with corruption and lack of accountability within the Guatemalan government.

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