Suspected hackers involved in ‘Car Wash’ probe also targeted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s mobile phones, officials claim
- Four people were arrested on Tuesday over the hacking of mobile phones belonging to Justice Minister Sergio Moro and prosecutors in the Car Wash investigation
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s mobile phones were allegedly targeted by a group of hackers who are also accused of breaching the devices of the investigators in a massive corruption probe, the justice ministry said on Thursday.
Four people were arrested on Tuesday over the hacking of mobile phones belonging to Justice Minister Sergio Moro and prosecutors in the so-called Car Wash investigation.
Moro has said the group was the source for “those who published alleged messages obtained illegally” – a reference to a trove of encrypted chats released by The Intercept investigative website in recent weeks.
The leaked messages show Moro, a former judge who spearheaded the Car Wash inquiry that turned him into a household name, collaborated with prosecutors to keep jailed leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva out of the 2018 presidential race.
Moro has denied any wrongdoing and refused to resign over the scandal, saying criminals had hacked the mobile phones with the aim of overturning convictions resulting from the probe that has claimed the scalps of scores of high-profile figures, including Lula, since it began in 2014.
Bolsonaro has been informed that his mobile devices were targeted by the same suspected hackers, the justice ministry said in a statement.
It is not clear when the group targeted the devices or if they have been able to access any of Bolsonaro’s data.
“I’ve always been careful with strategic information,” Bolsonaro told reporters on Thursday.
“These are not communicated by telephone, so I’m not worried.”
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes was also the victim of the same hackers, police said on Wednesday.
The Intercept has refused to reveal the identity of its source or how the chats from the Telegram app were accessed.
“Moro and his allies want to suppress the revelations … distract society’s focus and delegitimise serious and hard-hitting journalism,” The Intercept said in a statement on Thursday.