Thousands of documents containing sensitive information belonging to Mexico’s embassy in Guatemala were leaked online this week by a hacker. The stolen cache contained more than 4,800 files related to the embassy’s activities including its dealings with personal documents belonging to Mexican citizens. The hacker, identified on Twitter as @0x55Taylor, published the data online after the embassy failed to reply to his attempts at making contact. The files were eventually pulled offline by the cloud storage company used to host them, but TechCrunch was able to confirm the authenticity of the documents.
The hacker got ahold of the trove of documents after discovering the server hosting the files suffered from a security vulnerability and was compromised. After downloading the files, he found scans of passports, visas, birth certificates and other personal documents — some of which belonged to Mexican citizens and diplomats. Letters granting rights, privileges and immunities to embassy staff were also found in the stash, as well as documents showing staff medical expenses, vacation time and other administrative information. 0x55Taylor reportedly attempted to contact Mexican officials about the issue but was ignored. While leaking the files online is one way to get the attention of people, it also puts the victims of the leak at risk by further exposing private information.