The internal communications system of the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations has been hit by hackers earlier this week.
The authors of the attack to the system — which serves the External Relations ministry, as well as Brazilian embassies worldwide and carries a certain amount of sensitive information that is sometimes encrypted - and the objective of the hackers are still unknown.
According to the Ministry, this was a phishing attack, which would have reached not only staff emails, but also Intradocs, an internal communications system used by diplomats, but has not reached a separate platform that carries classified correspondence between embassies and other diplomatic posts abroad and the ministry in Brasília.
Following the attack, access to the system was temporarily suspended and passwords to the servers in Brasília and overseas were changed.
A possible leak of confidential information has not yet been confirmed — despite the fact that this would have been possible since Intradocs has been compromised. An investigation by the Federal Police and the Institutional Security Cabinet, the body responsible for the security of the Brazilian government's information, is ongoing.
Earlier this year, when Brazilian hackers told the press about their plans for cyberattacks around the time of the World Cup, the authorities did not seem to be all that concerned.
"It would be reckless for any nation to say it's 100 percent prepared for a threat," General José Carlos dos Santos, the head of the cyber command for Brazil's army, told Reuters at the time. "But Brazil is prepared to respond to the most likely cyber threats."