The Letter bombs were sent to at least five journalists working in TV and radio stations in violence-plagued Ecuador Monday, one of which exploded without causing serious injury, Interior Minister Juan Zapata said.
The prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation into the crime of terrorism, without stating why the news stations were specifically targeted, or by whom.
The interior minister said the envelopes were sent from the town of Quimsaloma, in the coastal province of Los Rios. Three were sent to Guayaquil in the southwest and two to the capital Quito.
The “device is indeed the same in all five places,” Zapata told reporters
In the port city of Guayaquil, journalist Lenin Artieda of the Ecuavisa private TV station received an envelope containing a pen drive which exploded when he inserted it into a computer, his employer said.
Artieda sustained slight injuries to one hand and his face, said police official Xavier Chango. No one else was hurt.
Chango said the USB drive sent to Artieda could have been loaded with RDX, a military-type explosive.
Another package addressed to journalist Carlos Vera was intercepted by the police at a courier company in Guayaquil and did not reach its destination, Zapata said.
Elsewhere in Guayaquil in Ecuador’s southwest, the prosecutor’s office said a letter bomb was also sent to the offices of TC Television.
There is “an absolutely clear message to silence journalists,” said the minister.
Speaking to Dr Zakir Hussain Cybersecurity Advisor said, Its common practice that hackers mailing USB drives loaded with malware and compromise system. But now someone in Ecuador has resorted to creating flash drives designed to explode once they connect to a computer. This is the kind of transformation is happening in the digital world. We need to be Cyber Alert!
The RDX was contained inside a capsule within the USB drive, and only half of the explosive substance went off. “If it had fully activated, the damage could have been higher than what we found,” a police officer told Ecuavisa