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Congresswoman Zambelli made defendant in judiciary hack probe | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


The Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted charges against far-right Congresswoman Carla Zambelli and notorious hacker Walter Delgatti for breaking into systems of the Judiciary, making them both defendants. The investigation was initiated following a groundbreaking story by The Brazilian Report.

In early 2023, we uncovered that Mr. Delgatti was working for Ms. Zambelli in the story  “The plan to hack Brazil’s chief electoral justice.” The scoop recently won the 2024 Digiday Media Award for Best Story.

After initially denying any relationship with the hacker, Ms. Zambelli later admitted to it in an interview. 

Brazil’s prosecutor general, Paulo Gonet, filed charges against Ms. Zambelli and Mr. Delgatti last month. According to the charges, Ms. Zambelli quarterbacked a hacking of the Judicial branch’s computer systems conducted by Mr. Delgatti. Both the congresswoman and the hacker were charged with hacking and fraud — both of which are aggravated because they conspired together.

Mr. Delgatti, who was arrested in August 2023, admitted to the Federal Police his responsibility for issuing a fraudulent arrest warrant against Justice Alexandre de Moraes with the justice’s own signature. He also said that Ms. Zambelli instructed him to hack Justice Moraes’ phone and email should he fail to hack an electronic voting machine. 

For the last few years, Justice Moraes has been the main target of the Brazilian far right’s vitriol. Since 2022, he has held the rotating presidency of the Superior Electoral Court, Brazil’s top electoral body. 

Days after being arrested, Mr. Delgatti told lawmakers during the select committee on the January 8 riots that he was given a mission by then-President Jair Bolsonaro himself to discredit the electoral system. 

Mr. Delgatti was sentenced to 20 years in prison in an unrelated case for hacking the phones and messaging apps of 126 people in 2019, several of them Brazilian officials related to the massive Car Wash anti-corruption task force.

In another separate case, Ms. Zambelli is a defendant in the Supreme Court for pointing a gun at a black journalist who criticized her and chasing him on the streets of São Paulo on the eve of the 2022 presidential runoff.

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