Brazilian hackers make plans for the World Cup

Official and sponsor websites will be key targets; the government says it will be ready for the attacks
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Brazilian hackers are said to be preparing for a string of cyberattacks to FIFA and sponsor websites during the World Cup.

Self-proclaimed members of international hacker group Anonymous told Reuters that the network is "already making plans" for denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, as well as website defacement and data theft - and that there is not much that can be done to stop them.

The hacker group was also active during last year's wave of protests - which were about themes including the amount of public money spent on the World Cup - and indicated that DDoS attacks will be their preferred method for the upcoming sporting event as they are "fast, damaging and relatively simple to carry out."

Meanwhile, Brazil says it is as prepared as it can be:

"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. "But Brazil is prepared to respond to the most likely cyber threats."

The lack of effective policies to protect telecommunications and data traffic across internet networks is a common issue in Brazil and 31 other Latin American countries.

Particularly in Brazil, the government's leniency created a situation where the country has become one of the top five largest consumers of telecoms equipment and services - and yet citizens, companies and public institutions remain exposed to all manner of cyberattacks.

This continued to be the case until revelations of spying activities on Brazil by the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) increased that perception of vulnerability and the realization that the country could, after all, be caught off-guard given its poor defences.

The espionage scandal then prompted the announcement of a series of new projects around cybersecurity, but the cohesion of these projects is questionable.

It is safe to say that the cybersecurity topic has never received so much attention before in the whole history of Brazilian technology. However, considering the opportunities that the World Cup will provide to groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec, one can't help but wonder if it's all a bit too little, too late.

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