Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hackers Target World Cup Websites

On the cusp of this year’s World Cup, hackers infiltrated several websites belonging to the Brazilian and sponsors of the premier global soccer tournament. 

The official English-language World Cup website was among those they suffered a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) along with the sites for the Bank of Brazil, Hyundai and Brazil’s intelligence agency (ABIN).

The site for the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso was defaced by someone reportedly belonging to the “Tunisian Hackers Team” and showing a photo of protesters holding a “FIFA Go Home!” banner.
“Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep,” read an anti-government message left on that site.”

At least two sites, including that of the Amazonas state electoral board, may have had the names and other personal information of individuals infiltrated and published in public forums.

All of the infiltrations took place between last Sunday and Wednesday.  As of the time of this post, all of the aforementioned websites are online and seemingly running normally.

“We had a busy last few days and there is more still to come,” reportedly said a hacker identified as Che Commodore to the Reuters news agency.

“Companies and institutions that work with a government that denies the basic rights of its people in order to promote a private, exclusive and corrupt sports event will be targeted,” added Che Commodore who allegedly belongs to the Anonymous hacker collective.

The e-mail service of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry (BFM) was suspended for several days last month following a data breach.  Three thousand diplomats were advised to change their passwords and were left without access to their work e-mail accounts for several days.  Though BFM officials tried to downplay the incident, Anonymous was able to extract over three hundred documents from the agency's computing network.

The hacking attacks come amidst protests in several Brazilian cities criticizing the preparations for the World Cup that start today and will run until July 13th.  In Sao Paulo, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators a few miles from the stadium where the opening match between Brazil and Croatia started moments ago.  Police also fired at approximately one thousand protesters including striking teachers in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Preparations for the World Cup have not been smooth and have had its share of problems including labor strife, billions of dollars in public spending on infrastructure, displacing families in order to construct stadiums and the threat of a viral outbreak.  Nevertheless, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has refused to accept most criticisms of the tournament preparations:
“The result and final celebration are worth the effort,” she said (on Tuesday) in a televised address to the nation, two days before the first match. “Brazil overcame the main obstacles and is prepared for the Cup, on and off the field”…

“The Cup doesn’t just represent spending, but also brings with it benefits for the country,” said Rousseff, a trained economist. “It injects billions of reais into the economy. It creates jobs.”
Online Sources – OGlobo; Bloomberg; The Straits Times; BBC News;; Reuters

No comments: