19-Year-Old Spanish Hacker Arrested for Stealing Sensitive Data of Over Half a Million Taxpayers and Boasting About It on Podcast

19 Year Old Spanish Hacker Arrested for Stealing Sensitive Data of Over Half a Million Taxpayers and Boasting About It on Podcast

Spanish police arrested a 19-year-old hacker, Jose Luis Huertas, for allegedly stealing the sensitive data of more than 575,000 taxpayers from the national revenue service.

The hacker, also known as “Alcasec” or “Mango,” had boasted in a podcast about having access to the personal data of 90% of Spanish the population. He penetrated a centralized file transfer system linking the judiciary with executive branch agencies in October 2022, which led to the cyber attack.

The Spanish authorities have classified Alcasec as one of the most dangerous hackers operating in the country.

19-Year-Old Spanish Hacker Arrested for Stealing Sensitive Data of Over Half a Million Taxpayers and Boasting About It on Podcast

The Spanish authorities believe that Huertas is a “dangerous cybercriminal” with expertise in cyber assets and money laundering. He is currently in custody after the judge determined him to be a flight risk. Huertas had also allegedly developed a database called “Udyat” to store stolen data from various cyberattacks, which he advertised for sale on underground forums.

The Attack and the Consequences

The October 2022 cyberattack on a file system linked to the tax authorities compromised sensitive data such as financial account numbers, salary amounts, credit card numbers, telephone numbers, addresses, geolocation, and online shopping histories of more than half a million Spanish residents. Huertas reportedly stole this data and sold it on underground forums for profit, earning him millions of euros.

Spanish intelligence was able to track the cryptocurrency wallets used to pay for servers housing the stolen data and found over $543,000 worth of crypto currency in a wallet allegedly controlled by Huertas. Police also found a significant amount of cash, indicating his involvement in money laundering.

How Hertas Hacking Journey Started

Huertas began his hacking journey at the age of 15 and gained early fame by hacking HBO and creating more than 150,000 free accounts distributed on Instagram.

Alcasec started his hacking endeavors back in 2019, where he initiated by giving away free Burger King orders or forwarding driver’s licenses issued by the General Directorate of Traffic.

With time, he stepped up his game and began breaching highly secure national websites, including the Telecinco channel, the General Council of the Judiciary database, municipal sites, and the most significant, the web pages of the Tax Agency and the National Police.

The cyber attacks resulted in the seizure of sensitive information, including data from over half a million taxpayers and personal information of more than 50,000 Spanish police officers.

Huertas allegedly hacked into the system of the television station Telecinco to rob its CEO of €300,000. He served time in a semi-open juvenile detention center after authorities determined that he was part of a gang that had hacked into the city administrations of Granada and Madrid to steal €53,000, converting the money into cryptocurrency.

He was to be kept under state watch upon release from the facility in southern Spain in October, but he returned to Madrid, where he was arrested.

The arrest of Jose Luis Huertas is a significant win for Spanish authorities, as it has prevented him from carrying out further cyberattacks. The arrest also sends a strong message to other hackers who may be involved in cybercriminal activities, that they will be caught and punished. It is essential to protect sensitive data and the privacy of citizens from such attacks, and authorities must continue to be vigilant in this regard.

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