Paradise Papers; An example of computer hacking gone good

Paradise papers distribution
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The Paradise Papers is a set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment which was leaked to the public on 5 November 2017.

It drew attention because the offshore investment in some cases might have been used to conceal income from taxation.

The documents originate from the offshore law firm Appleby. Appleby is the corporate services provider Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions. The documents contain the names of more than 120,000 people and companies. Effectively creating a storage space of 1.5 Terabytes.

A cyberattack goes in good faith

An ethical hacker is a person who hacks into a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security, rather than with malicious or criminal intent.

How has this recent release of documents connected to cyberattacks gone good?

Throughout the internet, there are various platforms where hackers/computers users interact and share knowledge and one of such place is Reddit. Reddit is filled with interest-based communities that offer something for everyone.

Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, and images, which are then voted up or down by other members.

On October 20 an anonymous user hinted of the existence of Paradise Papers. Then late October an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists was formed to investigate the allegation and later it was the South German Newspaper that acquired the Paradise Papers. 

So the Law Firm Appleby must have been hacked in a cyberattack in which Appleby says some data was stolen. Usually when companies are under cyber attack its difficult to confidently ascertain what exact data is stolen and this was the case with Appleby.

In their statement, they said some data but this is not just some data. It is big Data as it amounts into terabytes of confidential information mostly for celebrities, high profile people, and various companies with worldwide influences.

Here is the list of some people and companies named in the Paradise Papers as connected to offshore companies. A Zambian Businessman and Politician Hichilema Hakainde appear on the list of only a few African countries according to a Wikipedia listing

Kenya Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia with Uganda also have made the list. But as the investigation proceeds more revelations will be made. 

Motivation for the Publication

The Paradise Papers leak has its root from cyberattack and computer hacking but the publishers have their motivation to reveal a questionable transaction that the public need to know about the leader’s investment.

They spark a spotlight of the politicians, the wealthy, and celebrities amidst us. Paradise Papers has uncovered the complex world of global tax avoidance, showing it to be a much bigger business. 


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