While the five suspects of having participated in the hacking of the cell phone of the former Buenos Aires Security Minister, Marcelo D'Alessandro,
will be investigated this Monday
by the Buenos Aires Justice, the indications grow that they
would have been hired by an illegal intelligence network
Most of the defendants have social ties
with Kirchnerista leaders from Misiones.
The Buenos Aires judge Araceli Martínez and the head of the Specialized Prosecutor Unit for Computer Crimes and Contraventions of the CABA, Daniela Dupuy, will take a statement today as suspects from
Elías Ezequiel Nuñes Pinheiro, his son Elías Nuñes Pinheiro, Antonio Aquino, Julio Cesar Escobar and Cecilia Mercado.
of how Nuñes Pinheiro Jr. participated in the tapping of D'Alessandro's cell phone are many and that is why he appears as the main defendant.
While the rest are considered by the prosecutor as participants in the maneuver.
The 22-year-old is the "nerd" of the computer science group
and the others would have provided the "tools" for the maneuver.
Espionage: a prosecutor asks to identify the user of the Casa Rosada who checked Marcelo D'Alessandro's data
The suspects, so far, are accused of crimes of aggravated damage, violation of secrets and privacy, unauthorized dissemination of intimate images or recordings and digital identity theft, among other charges.
But tomorrow, depending on the volume of accumulated evidence,
the criminal figure of illicit association could be added to them, which is not releaseable.
The suspects may remain as the primary responsible or collaborate with the Justice as to whether they would have been hired by a third party to reduce their eventual sentence.
In parallel to the case of those suspected of being the material authors,
those who financed and designed an intelligence operation of this magnitude are being sought
using a hacker who from 2020 to date had carried out 72 hacks on Buenos Aires citizens, mostly for
In other words, the "nerd" knew how to use the SIM SWAP hacking technique for common scams, but
someone must have given him the names and other details of national "political targets."
In this sense, Justice is investigating all the people who
entered Eldorado with their cell phones
in October 2022 and filtering them one by one to see if they have a connection to the hacker.
Also the trips to Chile and Brazil of the father of the "nerd", among other things.
The operation also affected the representative of Juntos por el Cambio Diego Santilli;
Judges Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu and Andrés Basso (both of the Highway Administration case);
the City Attorney General, Juan Bautista Mahiques;
and the judges of the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation Mariano Borinsky and Gustavo Hornos (who must review the sentence of Cristina Kirchner to 6 years in prison in that case), among others.
Prosecutor Dupuy is doing all this enormous search for "fingerprints" with the support of
the Special Investigations Division of the City Police and the Judicial Investigation Corps of the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The intelligence operation began
on October 19, 2022
, at 3:26 p.m., when Elías Ezequiel Nuñes Pinheiro, Antonio Aquino, Julio César Escobar, Cecilia Mercado or Elias Nuñez Pinheiro, through the maneuver known as "SIM SWAP" (creation of a twin chip)
took control of D'Alessandro's cell phone and, in particular, his WhatsApp and Telegram applications.
But to get the twin SIM card they had to answer
a trick with personal data from the former minister
The possibility of doing it virtually remained a residue at Telefónica from the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To obtain these data, especially the identity document (ID) processing number of D'Alessandro (obtaining the DNI is easy), they first entered
Nosis with the false profile of Nicanor Crotto
, a former official of the former chief of staff from Macri, Marcos Peña.
And in these details, it is presumed that
there was an intellectual author with national political connections.
And to enter the National Registry of Persons (RENAPER), they used a user from the Cabinet headquarters when it was managed by the former governor of Tucumán, Juan Manzur, as announced by Clarín.
The user is identified as
The same October 19 of last year, but at 2:17:18 p.m. (one hour before the hack) the user made a query about "
data and photos"
of D'Alessandro, judicial sources informed this newspaper.
Thus, they obtained a complete report of personal data, among which is the
ID of their DNI.
The RENAPER data of other victims were also requested by the users
"Mme_2" and "MME2vpn(99)"
from the Cabinet headquarters.
Prosecutor Dupuy wants to know which official they belong to or if it is another identity theft by the hacker.
Similarly, some of the suspects also consulted RENAPER about
judges Gustavo Hornos and Andrés Basso around the time of the attack on D'Alessandro.
In parallel, about twenty Twitter users
are being investigated who published excerpts from conversations
held between a private group in which D'Alessandro participated.
The first Twitter account to make the announcement
was taken down the next day
Some of these messages announce the sale of D'Alessandro's chats on
the so-called Darkweb
for $600 – which could be a red herring- and are redirected via a hyperlink to the URL https://patagonianfacts.com/group1/ messages.html.
Almost all of these notices were advanced to the press by the former director of AFI Counterintelligence and deputy of the Frente de Todos, Rodolfo Tailhade.
So far what has been discovered in the case is that the ghost sites with these messages were uploaded through a company called Cloudfare from Miami but
in recent days they have been taken down
In any case, a request was sent to the US to find out who paid to upload them to the Internet.
The emails he used, according to judicial sources, the young Nuñes Pinheiro has
passwords armed with his family's birthdays, which was another hacker error
He also left another “fingerprint” by opening an email in Proton Mail (which is end-to-end encrypted) with his first name.
In any case, almost all the connections audited by prosecutor Dupuy have
a record in the house in the town of Eldorado, Misiones de Elías Nuñes Pinheiro or the premises raided last Thursday
According to social contacts on social networks, the suspects
have ties to Hugo Kovalski, director of Provincial Roads, current member of Governor Oscar Ahuad's cabinet and candidate for Mayor of Eldorado
Kovalski would be a member of the Frente Renovador party.
The official excused himself from making statements to
On the other hand, Héctor Irala, owner of the motorcycle used by one of the suspects, is an employee of the Ministry of Finance, Finance, Public Works and Services of the Government of Misiones, among other political contacts.
For their part, the suspects Julio Cesar Escobar and Cecilia Mercado
have an ostensibly high standard of living
that is constantly exhibited in goods and numerous pleasure trips to Brazil.
On the other hand, the two Nuñes Pinheiro are people of more modest economic position when compared to the rest of the suspects.
The hackers who tapped Marcelo D'Alessandro's cell phone used a password "from the national government"
Exclusive: How was the "SIM Swap" operation to hack Marcelo D'Alessandro's cell phone