Venezuelan President Reports “Cyber Sabotage” against Banking System

President Maduro ordered intelligence services to take “necessary actions” as citizens began to denounce difficulties with payment terminals and electronic banking platforms across the country. 

By Rachael Boothroyd-Rojas
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:Maduro tells the country to be on “permanent alert” in the face of the financial cyber attack. (VTV)
:Maduro tells the country to be on “permanent alert” in the face of the financial cyber attack. (VTV)

Caracas, December 2, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused rightwing forces of attempting to destabilise his government through financial “cyber sabotage” on Friday as payment terminals and electronic banking platforms began to present generalised technical failures around the country. 

On Friday, citizens took to social media to denounce widespread difficulties making purchases with debit cards and electronic bank transfers. The incident follows isolated difficulties throughout the week and a sudden 300 percent increase in the black market value of the dollar since the beginning of November. 

“I am here to denounce this economic, monetary coup d’etat, by international financial sectors and some national financial sectors,” stated the president. 

“Today we suffered an international cyber attack on the technological base platform of our internet, which… affected the entire capacity for internet transfers,” he added. 

A team of specialists are now working to identify the source of the cyber attack, the president indicated.

Meanwhile, Maduro also confirmed that he had instructed the director of the country’s intelligence services SEBIN to “take all the necessary legal measures” against Credicard, a Venezuelan company which manages debit and credit card transactions for financial institutions.

Earlier on in the day, the company issued a statement confirming that it was experiencing “technical difficulties” and that it was unable to provide its usual service. The company is responsible for around 50% of the country’s financial interactions.  

According to government spokespeople, Credicard waited more than four hours to respond to the difficulties.  

Maduro also accused the Venezuelan rightwing of fomenting a campaign from the Colombian border town of Cucuta to “leave Venezuela without paper money”.  

Venezuela usually experiences increased financial activity in the first week of December as citizens begin to make Christmas purchases and receive their wages and end of year holiday bonuses. 

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