Venezuela Gets New President after Close Election Marked by Hacking, Possible Voting Irregularities

By Ed Silverstein April 16, 2013

Nicolas Maduro was narrowly reelected in a controversial election in Venezuela, but not before the Twitter account of the new president was hacked on Sunday.

The account has some 700,000 followers, and the hackers joked, "Thank you to all of those who follow me on this Twitter account. I just got 700,000 followers in record time."

Maduro, just a few hours before the hacking, sent out his own Tweet: “Thank you, Fatherland! All of us must go out and vote to fulfil the promise made to the Great One [Hugo Chavez].”

The hackers also changed site content to read, “Nicolas Maduro: Stooge of Barack Obama, hacked by Lulz Peru,” The Telegraph reported.

RT also reported that the Lulz Security Peru hacking group was responsible for the hacking of the Twitter account. Two official websites were hacked as well.

“The official’s twitter account was filled with vulgar messages in which @lulzsecperu claimed responsibility for the successful attack,” RT reported. “Hackers have also defaced Maduro’s official sites maduro.org.ve and nicolasmaduro.org.ve posting their logo on the main pages.”

Hackers also targeted Twitter accounts for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, and of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, news reports said.

The election victory was slight – only 1.6 percentage points – leading to protests on the streets of six cities on Monday. In Caracas, thousands were assembled to protest the results.

Also, there were allegations of voting fraud. The new president’s opponent wants a recount of the ballots. One report suggested there were 3,000 “election irregularities,” according to The Guardian.

Maduro was described by the media as the “handpicked” successor to Chavez. But Maduro’s allies suggest the United States was behind claims of election fraud, in an attempt to destabilize the nation. 




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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