Web Activists Target World Cup Attack
This summer’s football World Cup in Brazil is reportedly under threat from web activists rumoured to be preparing disrupt the world’s most watched sporting event. A group that affiliated itself to the web activist movement known as Anonymous has come out to claim it will use the gaze of a global audience to target sites operated by world football’s governing body Fifa, as well as Brazilian government and tournament sponsors.
The upcoming tournament has already been the subject of some substantial protests due to its apparent overly extravagant costs. A series of street marches occurred during last year’s Confederations Cup – the warm-up tournament ahead of the main event – and the Brazilian government have come in for repeated criticism in relation to the tournament.
With Brazil already facing a race against time to get all the stadiums and transport systems ready for the start of the tournament on June 12, there have been some who believe the government haven’t paid enough attention on securing the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.
Brazil already suffers from overstrained networks, high level usage of pirated software and low investment in online security. Combined with a sophisticated and growing domestic cyber-criminal community, which is already disrupting ticket sales and other World Cup commerce, there is little doubt there has been so much worry regarding online attacks from activists this summer.
“It’s not a question of whether the cup will be targeted, but when. So resilience and response become extremely important,” said William Beer, a cyber-security expert with the consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal.
General Jose Carlos dos Santos, the head of the cyber-command for Brazil’s army, admitted he was prepared for threats posed from web activists during this summer’s tournament.
“It would be reckless for any nation to say it’s 100% prepared for a threat. But Brazil is prepared to respond to the most likely cyber-threats.”