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Venezuela cyberattack hits government websites

Sertan Sanderson AFP, Reuters
August 8, 2017

A major cyberattack has shut down dozens of Venezuelan websites, including several for government bodies. The group behind the hack has lent its support to a rebel campaign against President Nicolas Maduro.

Illustration: hacker, system failure
Image: picture alliance/dpa

The hacker group, calling itself The Binary Guardians, targeted the portals for the government, the supreme court and the legislature, among others, in support of an armed rebel group responsible for staging a raid on an army base over the weekend.

President Nicolas Maduro
Maduro's official website was among those targeted by the cyberattackImage: Reuters/Miraflores Palace

Sites of a number of private companies were also affected, including subscription TV service DirecTV and telephone provider Digital.

"Our struggle is digital," the hacker group explained. "You close the streets, we do so to networks."

The cyberattack came a day after three military officers - a dismissed captain and two lieutenants - led around 20 officers on a raid of an army base in the city of Valencia.

Half of them, including one of the lieutenants, were later captured and two were killed.

'Operation David'

Several of the hacked sites remained offline late Monday. President Nicolas Maduro's official website was eventually returned to normal.

The Binary Guardians showed on Twitter the screen they had inserted on the portals' home pages: a tract supporting the rebel group's "Operation David" on the army base, next to an excerpt from Charlie Chaplin's movie "The Great Dictator."

"Soldiers! Don't give yourself to brutes, men who despite you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel," Chaplin says in the clip posted on the websites.

The group also urged anti-government protesters to demonstrate "and support our valiant soldiers."

Opposition groups have recently stepped up their protest against Maduro since the president enacted a new "constituent assembly" which critics say strengthens his grip on power.

Sertan Sanderson Moderation
Sertan Sanderson A human who seeks to make sense of the world and wants understand what truly motivates peopleSertanSanderson
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