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Hackers Expose Code Of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Wallet App Chivo

On April 23, hackers further disclosed details about El Salvador’s state-managed Bitcoin wallet, Chivo, following their earlier leak of millions of users’ personal information. The hacker collective, CiberInteligenciaSV, made a portion of the software wallet’s source code available on BreachForums, a notorious platform for illicit hacking activities.

El Salvador Hackers Strike Again

The hacker group stated, “This time I bring you the code that is inside the Bitcoin Chivo Wallet ATMs in El Salvador, remember that it is a government wallet, and as you know, we do not sell, we publish everything for free for you.”

On Monday, the cybersecurity project VenariX issued a warning about an impending data leak of the Chivo source code, referring to a post from the hacker group’s Telegram channel.

The Telegram post from CiberInteligenciaSV declared, “Tonight we will publish part of the source code and VPN access that belongs to Chivo Wallet, for free as always, unless one of you nosy government people wants to talk.”

Earlier this month, the same group leaked over 144 GB of data containing personal information of 5.1 million Salvadorans who had downloaded the wallet. Although available for purchase via various channels since August, the leak for download began on April 5.

The stolen information encompassed each user’s full name, unique identifying number, date of birth, address, and an HD picture of their face.

The latest leak this week included the file Codigo.rar, containing code and VPN credentials for El Salvador’s Chivo ATM network.

As of now, the government of El Salvador has not issued an official statement regarding either of this month’s hacking incidents.

El Salvador’s Wallet Rollout

El Salvador introduced Chivo in September 2021, coinciding with its official adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. This move allowed Bitcoin to be used as an official currency, including for tax payments, alongside the US dollar, without incurring capital gains tax upon its sale or trade.

However, Chivo’s launch faced challenges from the outset, with users encountering numerous software bugs and technical issues. Many users did not receive the promised free $30 upon downloading the wallet, and others experienced difficulties withdrawing funds from Chivo ATMs.

Towards the end of last year, the Salvadoran government announced plans to incorporate lightning network technology into over 100 Chivo ATMs nationwide, with installation slated for Q4 2024. This technology is expected to enable faster Bitcoin transactions with lower fees for Salvadorans.

In October, a Salvadoran newspaper reported that less than 2% of the population was utilizing the wallet for remittance payments, despite this being one of its key intended purposes.

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