Brazilian hackers have issued threats to disrupt this summer’s FIFA World Cup and there are worries that the telecommunications infrastructure won’t be able to cope with the attacks.
Reuters spoke to hacking groups headquartered in Brazil that are planning to attack the event due to the global exposure it will give them and they are confident of bringing down some of the largest sites involved with the tournament.
"We are already making plans," said an alleged hacker who goes by the name Eduarda Dioratto. "I don't think there is much they can do to stop us."
Distributed denial of service [DDoS] attacks are reportedly the weapon of choice for Brazil’s hackers to target sites operated by FIFA and the Brazilian government as well as other sponsors and organisers.
"The attacks will be directed against official websites and those of companies sponsoring the Cup," a hacker known as Che Commodore told Reuters over Skype.
Some of the problems that could be exploited include overstrained networks, widespread use of pirated programming and little care taken to invest in online security. The same report also states that one of the “world’s most sophisticated cyber criminal communities” already operates in the country and it has already started to scupper ticket sales through phishing.
"It's not a question of whether the Cup will be targeted, but when," said William Beer, a cybersecurity expert with the consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal. "So resilience and response become extremely important."
FIFA has yet to comment on the issue and the country itself is confident that it is at least some way prepared for any attacks that are launched.
"It would be reckless for any nation to say it's 100 percent prepared for a threat," said General José Carlos dos Santos, the head of the cyber command for Brazil's army. "But Brazil is prepared to respond to the most likely cyber threats."
During the Confederations Cup 2013, the traditional dress rehearsal for the World Cup, the cyber command stopped over 300 cyber attacks and dos Santos added that the number will be “much higher” during the tournament proper.