Identity Thieves Attacking El Salvador’s Digital Wallet Setup, Chivo

November 1, 2021

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At first, Cynthia Gutierrez refused to download Chivo, the digital wallet created by El Salvador’s government for the use of bitcoin all through the nation, and released on Sept. 7.

She chose to open the application on Oct. 16 subsequent to gaining from individual Salvadorans that hackers had enacted wallets associated with the nine-digit numbers on their identity cards, known as DUI for its abbreviation in Spanish. At the point when Gutierrez entered her personal data, a screen popped up saying her record number was already registered with a wallet.

Gutierrez’s case is one of the hundreds that Salvadorans have investigated social media and to nearby advocates since September when bitcoin was established as legal tender and Chivo started being massively used in the country.

Identity Thieves had an Incentive; Every Wallet came with $30 worth of BTC

The hackers had an incentive, every wallet came stacked with $30 worth of bitcoin, given by the administration of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele to urge citizens to use the digital money.

At the point when Adam Flores, a Salvadoran YouTuber who runs the channel La Gatada SV, caught wind of the hacks, he recalled that his grandma had not opened her Chivo Wallet and chose to use the case as a test. Despite the fact that he just had a photocopy of her DUI, he attempted it in any case, and, incredibly, the application accepted the report as valid.

According to Chivo’s terms and conditions, the approval of an account is conditioned on a know-your-customer (KYC) process done by CHIVO S.A. de C.V., a privately owned business made by the government to dispatch the wallet.

According to Chivo’s official website, opening an account requires scanning the DUI front and back, and afterward performing facial recognition to actually take a look at the registrant’s identity. In any case, several Salvadorans announced a proof that the system is defective.

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