News / Science & Technology

Hackers Claim Attacks on World Cup-related Websites

FILE - A simple graphic of a possible website attack.
FILE - A simple graphic of a possible website attack.
Reuters
Hackers claim they have carried out attacks against dozens of Brazilian websites linked to the soccer World Cup, including those of tournament sponsor Hyundai, a state government and Brazil's intelligence agency.
 
“We had a busy last few days and there is more still to come,” a hacker who calls himself Che Commodore and who claims to be a member of the Anonymous hacker collective told Reuters on Wednesday.
 
“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,” he said, declining to give his real name.
 
Hackers have used a DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, against some government sites, a sponsor and companies partnering with the World Cup organization, he said, adding that there was also defacement of some government sites.
 
A DDoS consists of taking a web site down by overriding its server with multiple access requests. Defacement is when hackers manipulate the appearance of a site, often introducing hostile messages.
 
The cyber attacks add to concerns about the 32-nation soccer tournament that kicks off on Thursday in Sao Paulo.
 
Experts have warned about Brazil's lack of infrastructure and awareness to withstand computer attacks.
 
The tournament has already been overshadowed by widespread discontent among Brazilians over the billions of dollars spent on stadiums.
 
The web site of the government of Mato Grosso state, where Chile face Australia on Friday, came under attack on Sunday afternoon, an official said.
 
“Our site was hacked,” said Daniele Cunha, a spokeswoman for the local government. “We were able to take it off the air and restore the service within 30 minutes.”
 
Hackers last month broke into the foreign ministry's email service, accessing dozens of classified documents including a list of foreign dignitaries planning to attend World Cup matches.
 
A spokesman for Brazil's defense ministry said they have detected an “increase in hacker activism,” but no attacks on federal government sites have been reported so far.
 
A loosely-knitted hacker network this week posted a list of 27 websites they claimed to have attacked.
 
A spokesman for Brazil's intelligence agency ABIN said its web site was briefly taken off the air on Saturday for scheduled maintenance and denied this had been a result of an attack. “Totally false,” he said.
 
Automaker Hyundai in Brazil, whose site was also included on the target list, also denied it was hit by hackers.
 
Computer experts this week warned about Brazil's weak cyber defenses. William Beer, a cyber security analyst with Alvarez & Marsal, said it could be too late.
 
“Even though people are starting to realize there are problems, a lot of sites have probably already been attacked and are infected,” he told Reuters. “Now it is not so much a question of if but when they will be brought down.”

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More