'Hacker' suspected of hacking Brazil's electoral court system was arrested in Portugal

A hacker suspected of hacking into the computer system of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) of Brazil was arrested today in Portugal, in a joint operation between the Federal Police and the Portuguese Judicial Police, which led to three arrests in Brazil.

The Portuguese Judiciary Police, in an investigation conducted by the Central Department and Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP), in line with the Brazilian Federal Police, “carried out an international police operation with the objective of causing disruption in organized groups that operated in cyberspace”, announced today the Portuguese police.

“This operation resulted in the identification and detention of a Portuguese citizen aged 19 years old, in the national territory, while in Brazilian territory, three individuals were identified and detained, aged between 19 and 24 years old, who were dedicated to the practice continued crime of improper access, computer damage and computer sabotage ”, reads the statement by the Portuguese police.

"The detainees 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," says the Judiciary Police.

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

The Judiciary Police continues investigations to detect and identify other persons responsible for these operations.

"The Portuguese detainee will be present to the judicial authorities for the purposes of the first judicial interrogation, for the purpose of applying a coercive measure", concludes the Portuguese police.

In a statement, the Brazilian Federal Police, for its part, confirmed the realization of the action, called Operation Exploit, "which aimed to dismantle the criminal association that would have promoted the hacker attacks on the TSE", in the first round of the municipal elections held in Brazil.

According to the Brazilian authorities, three search and seizure warrants and three precautionary measures prohibiting contact between investigators in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais were carried out in the country.

"In addition, in Portugal, an arrest warrant and a search and seizure warrant are being served," added the statement.

According to the Brazilian police, the investigation points out that a group of Brazilian and Portuguese hackers, led by a Portuguese citizen, was responsible for the criminal attacks on the TSE systems in the first round of municipal elections.

"The Federal Police investigates the illegal access to data of public servants released on 15/11, in addition to other criminal activities of the group", says the statement of the Brazilian force.

The crimes investigated in this police investigation are those involving the invasion of a computer device and a criminal association.

The Federal Police of Brazil also stressed that during the investigations "no elements were identified that could have impaired the counting, security or integrity of the voting results".

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