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News > El Salvador

The Bukele Bitcoin Wallet Is Not Secure, Salvadorans Say

  • The center banner reads:

    The center banner reads: "I want a country free of corruption, bitcoins, and dictatorship," El Salvador. | Photo: Twitter/ @RadioTemblor

Published 12 October 2021

"President Bukele should suspend this app, which is highly vulnerable to computer crimes,” lawyer Karla Alas stressed.

On Monday, NGO Citizen Action (CA) announced that it will denounce before the Attorney General’s Office that many of its members were victims of spoofing at the digital “Chivo” wallet, which President Nayib Bukele created to promote bitcoin transactions.


Salvadorans Stage New Protests Against President Bukele

The spoofers intended to collect the CA members' US$30-equivalent bonus that Bukele enabled for all citizens who installed the application. 

"The personal data that they collected may now be used to commit serious illicit economic activities such as money laundering,” the CA Director Eduardo Escobar stressed and condemned that Bukele created an application that hoards the citizen’s data without their consent and any guarantees of security.

"Since the Chivo wallet does not have a LicenseChecker system, anyone can register with an identity card that is not theirs," technology and public policy expert Laura Hernandez explained. So far, other 330 Salvadorans who never registered themselves in the application to collect their bonus have been also spoofing victims.

Police Director Mauricio Arriaza assured that his institution is investigating the cases and that they will have preliminary results in the coming days.

"Finding who are collecting the bonds with another identity will not be difficult. However, to solve this case, it will be also necessary to clarify whether or not these people are the intellectual authors of the crime," Association of Transparency and Social Comptroller (TRACODA) President Carlos Palomo stated.

Since the launch of the Chivo wallet on Sept 7, experts have discovered other privacy and security flaws in this app, such as the requirement to access the users’ list of contacts, the microphone, and the camera to register themselves in it.

"The Bukele administration should suspend this app due to the identified irregularities, which make it highly vulnerable to computer crimes,” lawyer Karla Alas considered.

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