Melilla Has Own ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Hacker

For two years a Spanish exclave Melilla hacker has been gaining access to state files and publishing them online


The internet whiz calls herself Salander, after Lisbeth Salander, the character in the International best-selling book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, part of the Millennium series created by Stieg Larsson.

Spanish daily newspaper El País reported on Sunday that for the past two years the shadowy internet personality has been hacking her way into state institutions, then publishing them on the web to highlight corruption and wrong-doing.

The Facebook page where she published most of the documents has been closed down and the “Spanish Salander” remains unidentified.

In an interview with El País, she claimed she started her online campaign because she was “sick of people being scared to have opinions or rebelling”.

She claimed that the political classes of Melilla had “exploited the geographical barrier of the Mediterranean to create an alternative, parallel reality”.

One of her most notable achievements is providing inside information concerning the abuse of patients in a state-funded mental institution. This information led to an employee being fired for hitting a patient.

According to El País, “Salander the second” has now gained cult status in Melilla. The paper says she was a popular choice for chirigotas – folk songs composed especially for a town’s carnival and adapted to political or social issues.

With corruption regularly cited by Spaniards as their second biggest concern after unemployment many feel that there needs to be more transparency and more people – like this real-life Salander – who are willing to fight for it.


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