The Panama Papers Leak – What You Need To Know

Use Netsparker


The HUGE news this week is the Panama Papers leak, a massive cache of 11.5 million documents leaked to a German Newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung) in August 2015. It’s one of the most significant data leaks of all time and Edward Snowden has labelled it as “the biggest leak in the history of data journalism”. It’s also pretty huge at about 2.6TB of data, was leaked anonymously without any payment and goes all the way back to the 1970s.

The Panama Papers Leak - What You Need To Know

The Panama Papers are a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, including the identities of shareholders and directors of the companies.

The documents show how wealthy public officials hide their money and identify current government leaders from five countries – Argentina, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates – as well as government officials, close relatives, and close associates of various heads of government of more than forty other countries, including Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, France, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Syria, and the United Kingdom.

Source: Wikipedia

The firm involved, Mossack Fonseca is obviously back-pedalling hard and has registered a domain and designed a website just for their press statement: http://mossfonmedia.com/

But the ripples are already kicking in, with the PM of Iceland resigning and a lot of others countries, organisations (including FIFA) and political families finding themselves in hot water.

Iceland’s prime minister has stepped down – the first major casualty of the leaked Panama Papers that have shone a spotlight on offshore finance.

The leaks, from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, showed Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife but had not declared it when he entered parliament.

He is accused of concealing millions of dollars’ worth of family assets. Mr Gunnlaugsson says he sold his shares to his wife and denies any wrongdoing.

Source: BBC

Yah sold to his wife for $1, convenient right?

There’s all kinds of other reactions too with France adding Panama back to the list of countries that doesn’t comply with tax, China completely censoring all mentions of the Panama Papers country-wide and the head of the anti-corruption watchdog in Chile also stepping down after being implicated (ironic much?).

Plenty of other scandals are dropping out of the docs too as they get investigated further and linked together, tracing links between complex multi-layer, multi-country financial transactions.

Thirty three of its clients have been blacklisted by the US government for allegedly doing business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist organisations and “rogue nations” like North Korea and Iran. Its files have unearthed a secret, shady $2 billion (£1.3 billion) trail of money that leads to Vladimir Putin. One of its clients played a crucial role in the Watergate scandal. Another was convicted for the torture and murder of a US drug enforcement agent.

Source: Vice

Mossack Fonseca appears to have claimed that the hack happened on their e-mail server, which makes me wonder – what kind of e-mail server do they have that stores 11.5 million documents? And documents going all the way back to the 1970s?

That’s one hell of an e-mail server.

There’s definitely going to be a lot of articles written about this, a lot of discussions on this and much more to come as the ICIJ haven’t even gone through ALL the documents yet. There may be further implications coming soon.

For now, it’s an interesting drama to watch unfold.

The offical site for the whole thing is here: https://panamapapers.icij.org/

Posted in: Legal Issues, Privacy


Latest Posts:


Malcom - Malware Communication Analyzer Malcom – Malware Communication Analyzer
Malcom is a Malware Communication Analyzer designed to analyze a system's network communication using graphical representations of network traffic.
WepAttack - WLAN 802.11 WEP Key Hacking Tool WepAttack – WLAN 802.11 WEP Key Hacking Tool
WepAttack is a WLAN open source Linux WEP key hacking tool for breaking 802.11 WEP keys using a wordlist based dictionary attack.
Eraser - Windows Secure Erase Hard Drive Wiper Eraser – Windows Secure Erase Hard Drive Wiper
Eraser is a hard drive wiper for Windows which allows you to run a secure erase and completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.
Insecure software versions are a problem Web Security Stats Show XSS & Outdated Software Are Major Problems
Netsparker just published some anonymized Web Security Stats about the security vulnerabilities their online solution identified on their users’ web applications and web services during the last 3 years.
CTFR - Abuse Certificate Transparency Logs For HTTPS Subdomains CTFR – Abuse Certificate Transparency Logs For HTTPS Subdomains
CTFR is a Python-based tool to Abuse Certificate Transparency Logs to get subdomains from a HTTPS website in a few seconds.
testssl.sh - Test SSL Security Including Ciphers, Protocols & Detect Flaws testssl.sh – Test SSL Security Including Ciphers, Protocols & Detect Flaws
testssl.sh is a free command line tool to test SSL security, it checks a server's service on any port for the support of TLS/SSL ciphers, protocols as well as recent cryptographic flaws and more.


2 Responses to The Panama Papers Leak – What You Need To Know

  1. Mr.B April 7, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

    And you did not even mention Idalécio de Castro Rodrigues de Oliveira, he is a Portuguese corporate executive who, according to Brazil’s attorney general, supplied money that was paid as a suspected bribe to Eduardo Cunha, the president of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, currently under indictment for alleged corruption.
    Eduardo Cunha is also being accused of demand and receive at least US$5 million in bribes from a contract with Petrobras company, which is involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals in congress and presidential level.
    Now comes the interesting part, Eduardo Cunha is part of the Commission which is evaluating the request for impeachment of the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff.
    This world is literally lost!

  2. OpOne April 7, 2016 at 11:15 pm #

    “That’s one hell of an e-mail server.”

    No, it’s not, you can easily fit 10-20 millions of email on a single email server.
    This might be a hack done by some government, which may be even more interesting than the actual content of the documents…