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A cyber-espionage group known as "Machete" has been observed stealing sensitive files from the Venezuelan military, according to an ESET report published today.

The group, known to have been active since 2010, has historically gone after a wide range of targets from all over the world. However, ESET said that starting with this year, Machete has primarily been focusing its hacking efforts on Venezuela.

During a period between March and May 2019, ESET said it saw at least 50 infected computers contacting the Machete command-and-control (C&C) servers. Around 75% of these infections were located in Venezuela, and more than half of the infected computers belonged to the Venezuelan military.

"The attackers exfiltrate specialized file types used by geographic information systems (GIS) software," said ESET security researcher Matias Porolli. "The group is specifically interested in files that describe navigation routes and positioning using military grids."

Besides Venezuela, the Machete group has also targeted neighboring countries. ESET said the Ecuadorian military has also been a target as well.
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