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:


StaCoAn - Mobile App Static Analysis Tool StaCoAn – Mobile App Static Analysis Tool
StaCoAn is a cross-platform tool which aids developers, bug bounty hunters and ethical hackers performing mobile app static analysis on the code of the application for both native Android and iOS applications.
snallygaster - Scan For Secret Files On HTTP Servers snallygaster – Scan For Secret Files On HTTP Servers
snallygaster is a Python-based tool that can help you to scan for secret files on HTTP servers, files that are accessible that shouldn't be public and can pose a s
Portspoof - Spoof All Ports Open & Emulate Valid Services Portspoof – Spoof All Ports Open & Emulate Valid Services
The primary goal of the Portspoof program is to enhance your system security through a set of new camouflage techniques which spoof all ports open and also emulate valid services on every port.
Cambridge Analytica Facebook Data Scandal Cambridge Analytica Facebook Data Scandal
One of the biggest stories of the year so far has been the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica that came out after a Channel 4 expose that demonstrated the depths they are willing to go to profile voters, manipulate elections and much more.
GetAltName - Discover Sub-Domains From SSL Certificates GetAltName – Discover Sub-Domains From SSL Certificates
GetAltName it's a little script to discover sub-domains that can extract Subject Alt Names for SSL Certificates directly from HTTPS websites which can provide you with DNS names or virtual servers.
Memcrashed - Memcached DDoS Exploit Tool Memcrashed – Memcached DDoS Exploit Tool
Memcrashed is a Memcached DDoS exploit tool written in Python that allows you to send forged UDP packets to a list of Memcached servers obtained from Shodan.


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…