Mossack Fonseca hit by massive data breach

April 4, 2016 // 11:57 a.m.

Tags: #data-breach #financial #leak #tax #tax-avoidance #tax-evasion #tax-minimisation #whistleblower

Companies: #mossack-fonseca

One of the largest data breach in history, resulting in the loss of 2.6TB of confidential company data, has been blamed on financial outfit Mossack Fonseca's email servers - and the company's clients are taking the heat.

Known as the Panama Papers, 2.6TB of confidential material was provided by persons unknown to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which then passed the material on to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The data came from Panama-based financial services giant Mossack Fonseca, and detailed the various routes taken by its clients - some of the richest and most influential people in the world - to hide their money from taxation, largely by routing through hundreds of thousands of specially-crafted off-shore shell companies.

The leak, which accounts for more data than any previously verified data breach in the financial industry, is claimed by El Espanol to have been the result of an attack on Mossack Fonseca's email servers. Those responsible for the attack, who have not been named, are claimed to have been exfiltrating data from the servers for around a year, with the most recent documents dating to December 2015. Clients named in the documents include footballer Lionel Messi, close personal friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, as well as numerous UK politicians and the father of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mossack Fonseca has confirmed that it is investigating the breach and has secured its systems, but with the data now out and under scrutiny of the world's media the future of the company and the loopholes used by its various clients across the globe is under a cloud.
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