Fears that Russia could meddle in next year’s Mexican presidential election are growing. While there is no hard evidence to suggest that Moscow will be involved in the contest, its effort to disrupt last year’s U.S. election and reports that it is trying to affect elections in Europe have augmented concerns. “Russia meddles in elections, we know that,” said Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. Sen. Armando Ríos Piter of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) told The Hill on Monday that the prospect of Russian interference in Mexican elections “must not be minimized. If [Russia] intervened in the United States, there’s every reason to think that Mexico is a target for attack,” said Ríos Piter, who recently launched an independent presidential bid.
Articles about voting issues in the United Mexican States.
Mexico: Safran Identity & Security to Modernize Mexico’s Biometric Voter ID System | American Security Today
Safran Identity & Security has been awarded a five-year contract by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE) for its multi-biometric identification system and related services. With this new contract, INE confirms its trust in Safran to conform and update the Mexican national voter registry that enables fair and efficient elections. As one of the world’s largest systems of its kind, the multi-biometric identification system ensures each voter has a unique identity by detecting false or double-identity cases in real time. It uses both fingerprint and facial recognition to help ensure that each Mexican citizen is registered only once in the national voter rolls.
Mexican voters have punished the country’s deeply unpopular ruling party in regional elections, with early results suggesting that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has lost governorships in six states – including four where it had never lost power for more than 80 years. Dogged by allegations of rampant corruption and political thuggery, the PRI lost the Gulf Coast states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas, where kidnapping and extortion have reached alarming levels and drug cartels appear to operate with impunity. The results dealt a heavy blow to Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, putting the opposition National Action Party (PAN) – either alone or in coalition – ahead in seven of the 12 states which held elections on Sunday. “We’ve broken the authoritarian monopoly the PRI has held for more than 86 years,” a buoyant PAN leader Ricardo Anaya told cheering supporters after polls closed on Sunday.
The personal information of more than 2 million Mexicans was found online last week by the same man who recently discovered a previous data breach exposing the voting registration records of 93.4 million Mexicans. Chris Vickery, an internet data-breach researcher for MacKeeper, told Fusion he found a new database with over 2 million entries through the search engine Shodan.io. He said he found the database through a “random search,” similar to the one that previously lead to his March discovery of an open Amazon server hosting addresses, names and other personal information for more than 70% of Mexico’s population. Vickery said the new database was hosted on a server owned by U.S. company Digital Ocean, which offers online storage and transfer solutions to clients. Vickery says he again alerted Mexico’s electoral authority, INE, which launched an inquiry and confirmed that the voting registry for the northern state of Sinaloa had been exposed online. The database was taken down by Digital Ocean last Friday. The company did not immediately respond to Fusion’s request for comment. Mexican officials have launched an investigation into how the breach happened.
Mexico: Millions of Mexican voter records leaked to Amazon’s cloud, says infosec expert | Ars Technica
A leaked database containing the voting records of millions of Mexican voters has been discovered by a security researcher. Chris Vickery, who works for MacKeeper, said he first spotted the Mexican voters’ roll—containing the records of 87 million voters in Mexico—on April 14. Vickery told Ars that he found the database with Shodan, a search engine that can find pretty much anything connected to the Internet. “The search term that returned this database was just ‘port:27017’ (the default MongoDB port),” Vickery said. “There really was nothing special about the search terms. It was just a stroke of luck that I saw it and followed up.” He added that the database was not accessible over HTTP: “You had to use a MongoDB client, but all you needed was the IP address. There was nothing protecting it at all.”
A database containing the personal information of millions Mexican voters was discovered online by a security researcher earlier this month on an unprotected server. The discovery represents a major breach in private information for upwards of 87 million Mexican voters. The database was discovered without even password protection by researcher Chris Vickery on April 14th, (who had previously uncovered breaches for Hello Kitty users and private medical data) who alerted Mexican authorities. The National Electoral Institute verified the list’s authenticity, and had it removed from the Amazon Web Servers it was discovered on.
A digital dark arts campaign by mercenary hackers helped Enrique Peña Nieto win Mexico’s 2012 presidential election, according to an imprisoned Colombian hacker who says he was involved. Andrés Sepúlveda, an online campaign strategist, claimed he had also helped to manipulate elections in nine countries across Latin America by stealing data, installing malware and creating fake waves of enthusiasm and derision on social media. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, the Colombian – who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence – boasted of his ability to hack into campaign networks and manipulate opinion. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumours – the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see,” the 31-year-old told Bloomberg.
It was just before midnight when Enrique Peña Nieto declared victory as the newly elected president of Mexico. Peña Nieto was a lawyer and a millionaire, from a family of mayors and governors. His wife was a telenovela star. He beamed as he was showered with red, green, and white confetti at the Mexico City headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had ruled for more than 70 years before being forced out in 2000. Returning the party to power on that night in July 2012, Peña Nieto vowed to tame drug violence, fight corruption, and open a more transparent era in Mexican politics. Two thousand miles away, in an apartment in Bogotá’s upscale Chicó Navarra neighborhood, Andrés Sepúlveda sat before six computer screens. Sepúlveda is Colombian, bricklike, with a shaved head, goatee, and a tattoo of a QR code containing an encryption key on the back of his head. … He was watching a live feed of Peña Nieto’s victory party, waiting for an official declaration of the results. When Peña Nieto won, Sepúlveda began destroying evidence. He drilled holes in flash drives, hard drives, and cell phones, fried their circuits in a microwave, then broke them to shards with a hammer. He shredded documents and flushed them down the toilet and erased servers in Russia and Ukraine rented anonymously with Bitcoins. He was dismantling what he says was a secret history of one of the dirtiest Latin American campaigns in recent memory.
Electoral authorities in Mexico announced Wednesday that they are recounting more than half of the ballot boxes from midterm elections held last Sunday. At little more than 89,000 of the more than 149,000 ballot boxes installed will be recounted – about 60 percent of the vote in the congressional election. The National Electoral Institute (INE) Edmundo Jacobo Molina said the entire votes in 17 of the 300 electoral districts will be recounted.
Protesters burned ballot boxes in several restive states of southern Mexico on Sunday, in an attempt to disrupt elections seen as a litmus test for President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government. Officials said the vote was proceeding satisfactorily despite “isolated incidents”. Thousands of soldiers and federal police were guarding polling stations where violence and calls for boycotts threatened to mar elections for 500 seats in the lower house of Congress, nine of 31 governorships and hundreds of mayors and local officials. Midterm Mexican elections usually draw a light turnout, but attention was unusually high this time as a loose coalition of radical teachers’ unions and activists vowed to block the vote. They attacked the offices of political parties in Chiapas and Guerrero states and burned ballots in Oaxaca ahead of the vote.