Hackers Who Attacked TAP Airline Release Personal Data Of Portugal’s Prime Minister And Other Politicians | International


The mobile number of the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, is available to users attracted by the sinister part of the Internet, known as dark web. Also the personal data of the director of the Information and Security Service, Adélio Neiva da Cruz; the leader of the far-right Chega party, André Ventura; of the General Commander of the National Republican Guard (GNR), Rui Clero, and other active politicians and members of the Portuguese central administration have been revealed by the cybercriminals who attacked the Portuguese airline TAP at the end of August, as published today by the weekly expresso.

The Ragnar Locker group announced this week that it had released the personal data of 1.5 million TAP customers, in response to the airline’s refusal to accept its extortion to avoid it. “TAP has done nothing to protect their customers’ data and in an attempt to hide the truth, they even attacked our resources and our reasonable solution for a serious company,” the cybercriminals said in a statement. Neither the pirates nor the company have reported the money required to prevent dissemination, but the executive president of the TAP, Christine Ourmiéres-Widener, has made it clear that they do not accept the demands of the group. “We do not want to negotiate nor are we willing to reward this behavior in any way and we hope you will support us in this ethical attitude,” says the airline’s CEO in a video in which she also apologizes to customers for what happened.

In a meeting with the foreign press held on Thursday in Lisbon, Christine Ourmiéres-Widener pointed out that they cannot determine the exact number of clients affected by the data theft and that the estimates of 1.5 million given by Ragnar Locker may be uncertain. The meeting, which was also attended by EL PAÍS, was held before it became known that the prime minister and other politicians were among those harmed by the attack.

The assault on the TAP computer system occurred at the end of August. The group already exposed data from 115,000 clients on the network to show that its action had been successful. Among the information they aired were telephone numbers, addresses, the content of emails from company employees and confidential information. The Portuguese Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into the intrusion in which the Judicial Police and the National Cybersecurity Center also participate.

In June 2020, the same group of hackers attacked the Portuguese electricity company EDP and claimed 10 million euros after blocking its computer systems. The company assured that it never paid the extortion. Portugal has been suffering from computer attacks targeting its main institutions and companies for months. One of the most recent, disclosed by the Newspaperaffected secret NATO documents sent to Portugal and stolen during a cyberattack on the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which went on sale in the dark web.

Also this year, the Vodafone Portugal network suffered an intrusion by hackers that caused a blackout that prevented making voice calls and sending SMS for an hour to four million customers, including strategic organizations such as the National Institute of Medical Emergency, some services fire departments, banks, courts and post offices.

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