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Hacker group threatens cyber-attack on World Cup sponsors

By Esteban Israel and Anthony Boadle

(Reuters) - The hacker group Anonymous is preparing a cyber-attack on corporate sponsors of the World Cup in Brazil to protest the lavish spending on the soccer games in a country struggling to provide basic services, said a hacker with knowledge of the plan on Friday.

Earlier this week, Anonymous attacked the Brazil's Foreign Ministry computer networks and leaked dozens of confidential emails.

"We have already conducted late-night tests to see which of the sites are more vulnerable," said the hacker who operates under the alias of Che Commodore. "We have a plan of attack."

"This time we are targeting the sponsors of the World Cup," he said in a Skype conversation from an undisclosed location in Brazil. Asked to name the potential targets he mentioned Adidas, Emirates airline [EMIRA.UL], the Coca-Cola Co and Budweiser, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Reuters had no means of confirming Che Commodore's identity or his affiliation with Anonymous.

The sponsors did not immediately respond to requests to comment on the threat.

A DDoS or Distributed Denial-of-service is a low-cost attack aiming at taking a website offline by simultaneously requesting access from thousands of computers in order to jam the host server.

The threat of cyber-attacks is yet another headache for the organizers of the World Cup kicking off on June 12 in Brazil. The 32-nation soccer tournament has already been marred by embarrassing delays in the building of stadiums and widespread discontent in Brazil over the excessive cost of hosting the event in a country with deficient public services.

In what could be the biggest cyber-security breach since the U.S. National Security Agency allegedly spied on President Dilma Rousseff's personal communications, Anonymous this week posted 333 documents extracted from the Foreign Ministry's computing network.

They include a briefing of talks between Brazilian officials and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during a visit to Brazil in May last year and a list of sport ministers that plan to attend the World Cup.

A hacker known as AnonManifest used a phishing attack to break into the Foreign Ministry's databases and eventually access its documentation system, Che Commodore told Reuters.

"Until yesterday afternoon the hacker still had access to the system," he said.

The Foreign Ministry closed down its email system after the attack and instructed its 3,000 email account holders to change their passwords. Federal police is investigating the breach.

A Foreign Ministry official told Reuters on Friday that only 55 email accounts were hacked and the only documents that were obtained where attached to emails and from the ministry's internal document archive.

"The problem has been resolved. Nothing important was leaked," said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

But Brazilian diplomats abroad were left without email communications with their headquarters for several days. One diplomat in a European capital told Reuters on Friday the email service was still down.

(Reporting by Esteban Israel and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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arnoldhoneybrown May 31 2014 at 7:14 PM

If they truely want to do good . They need hack , Obama , DOJ , Hillary , Kerry ,Pelosi an of course Reid ! Bring the truth to the world what they are up to . Also the DNC hdq build !!!

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20 replies
stengernc May 31 2014 at 8:08 PM

The 1% will not rule the world!

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5 replies
SCUL8RSB May 31 2014 at 6:08 PM

Screw the games, who gives a crap.

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7 replies
Brian Workman May 31 2014 at 10:23 PM

Anonymous is becomming almost as dangerous as ACORN!?!?!

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3 replies
SPACCEJUMP May 31 2014 at 10:31 PM

The Brasilian People are fighting for survival.....They are standing up for the citizens rights in a country that has and is displaying more of the corruption that has suppressed the people of Brasil. By the way, notice that the Brasilian Citizens are not attempting to throw their hands up and run away from their beloved country to The USA or a place where everything is already done for them and all they need to do is reap the benefits given away by our corrupt politicians here in The USA. They are standing up and fighting just as America once did to make it so great........ Unfortunately, our country is now being brought down by political corruption, greed and liberalism to the extreme! GOD BLESS BRASIL AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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5 replies
Mike May 31 2014 at 6:05 PM

I did not know that Brazil had electricity let alone computers.

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8 replies
tpat912 May 31 2014 at 8:52 PM

When they catch one of these hackers a 9mil back of the ear will solve that problem.

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3 replies
Mendes May 31 2014 at 6:59 PM

Instead of showing how beautiful Brazil is, the hackers and all the demonstrators will take away a great chance of Brazil to show the beauty of its country! It should be treated like Carnaval: for four days everybody forget their problems and have fun! During Carnaval Brazilians welcome tourists! Why not now?

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7 replies
toneitup May 31 2014 at 7:52 PM

If they hack like their country is run maybe we should rename them slackers?

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BOB June 01 2014 at 6:31 AM

As a friend of mine said in a text ; Hackers should be put to death publicly . The collateral damage and destruction they do to innocent individuals on their whims is no better than terrorists . Private citizens have their information out there for all the criminals to use in committing fraud destroying credit . The destruction of credit cost one family the life of their teenage daughter who needed surgery . A loan for the surgery didn't go through because it took over 6 months to repair the identity theft . The theft came from information hacked from a store .... Its all about cause and effect . Similar to a drug dealer getting a kid hooked and that kid steals or robs somebody etc. it becomes a string of crimes . I guess terrorists just want to protest with their methods also . Hackers , the cowards that hide in a cyber world committing destruction because they dont like something ! I have more respect for terrorists since they have the guts to show themselves .

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1 reply
bonitoking61 BOB June 01 2014 at 9:41 AM

Sounds like the hospital is at fault, I'm sure the hospital would have done the surgery and got paid later.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
BOB bonitoking61 June 01 2014 at 10:16 AM

NOPE ! ... Like in the case of my mother with kidney cancer . If she didnt have the cash they werent going to do it . The oath doctors take does not corespond with hospitals . The movie " John Q " touches on the problem with hospitals , and insurance companies . It really does happen that way too . Maybe you shouldnt be so " SURE " before making a comment . Plenty of refernces out there and the truth will surprise you . Funny thing .... A hospital will put you on life support and rack up a quarter of a million in bills instead of doing a 100,000 dollar surgery .

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