Panama Papers Come From An External Hack, Claims Firm

Panama Papers Come From An External Hack, Claims Firm

The Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca has spoken out about the huge data leak it’s suffered, claiming it’s been the victim of an external hack.

Over the weekend, an international team of journalists announced that it had obtained what’s been referred to as the “biggest leak in history”: A 2.6-terabyte stash of data about offshore savings and tax havens from Panama-based legal firm Mossack Fonseca. But in an interview with Reuters, Ramon Fonseca — one of the law firm’s founders — explained that he believes it’s the result of an external hack:

We rule out an inside job. This is not a leak. This is a hack. We have a theory and we are following it… We have already made the relevant complaints to the Attorney General’s office, and there is a government institution studying the issue.

The 2.6 terabytes of data are made up of over 11.5 million files, which makes it a far bigger leak than the diplomatic cables uncovered by WikiLeaks in 2010 or the stash of NSA documents released by Edward Snowden in 2013.

The content of the leak is already having a huge international impact. Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, resigned yesterday, and the UK’s prime minister is coming under fire for familial links with offshore dealings. Elsewhere, Vladimir Putin has been linked with offshore deals worth $US2 billion and members of FIFA’s ethics committee appear more closely linked with corruption than previously thought.

Ramon Fonseca, however, believes that isn’t the real story. “The only crime that has been proven is the hack,” he said to Reuters. “No one is talking about that. That is the story.”

The company has not yet released any information about the theory that it is following.


Top image: Panama City skyline by AP

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