PJ detains Portuguese hacker who attacked the Brazilian electoral system

The Judiciary Police’s National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime detained a 19-year-old hacker, suspected of having hacked into the IT systems of the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil about two weeks ago during municipal elections in that country.

Expresso knows that this is Zambrius, the war name of a hacker who was under house arrest until now at his home in Ericeira (Mafra). In April, the young hacker had been arrested by the PJ’s cybercrime unit after his group, CyberTeam, claimed several computer attacks., including one that stole access and passwords from employees in Altice’s commercial area. Another attack undertaken at the beginning of the year in Portugal by the same CyberTeam aimed at the Directorate-General for Budget (DGO), under the Ministry of Finance.

In this international operation called “ex ploit”, the PJ and the Central Department and Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP) worked together with the Brazilian Federal Police, with the objective of causing “disruption in organized groups that operated in cyberspace”.

This operation resulted in the identification and detention of Zambrius, in national territory, while in Brazilian territory, three individuals were identified, aged between 19 and 24 years old, who were dedicated to the continued practice of crimes of improper access, computer damage and computer sabotage.

The suspects were part of different criminal networks, now affected by this police operation, and acted in concert and transnationally, attacking state functions, critical infrastructure and diverse economic interests.

From the cooperation between these authorities, computerized means were seized and relevant information was collected.

Several cyber attacks in Brazil

The case is having a great impact on the Brazilian press. The “Estado de São Paulo” revealed a few days ago that CyberTeam had the participation of Portuguese and Brazilian cybercriminals. And it was led by Zambrius.

The group will also have attacked in Brazil the computer systems of the Ministry of Health, Superior Court of Justice (STJ), organs of the Government of the Federal District (GDF) and several other portals of public agencies. Regarding the attack on the Superior Electoral Court, the Brazilian authorities reveal that no elements were identified that could have impaired the counting, security or integrity of the voting results.

The Portuguese hacker was interviewed by this newspaper a few days ago. “I did everything myself,” he said. “I’m with no computer. If you had it, believe that the attack would have a much bigger impact ”. At 19, Zambrius defines himself as an addict to exploit vulnerabilities and guarantees that he attacked the cyber attack on the Superior Electoral Court for “fun”.

The “State of São Paulo” revealed the chronology of events during the attack on the Superior Electoral Court on the 15th. Election Sunday was marked by three distinct events. At around 9 am, Zambrius published data from the court’s website to a Twitter account, which was suspended. The data were unrelated to the electoral process.

Two hours later, a new attack overwhelmed the court’s website, slowing down queries to service pages. Finally, there was a delay in adapting the artificial intelligence of the court’s supercomputer, in Brasilia, which receives the votes to total the results.

Zambrius has been watched by the authorities since he was 16 years old. He was first arrested in 2017 when he led the LulzSec Portugal group, a group of hackers who said they were fighting big corporations.

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