Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2014: 'Hacktivist' group Anonymous plan cyber-attack on sponsors including Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Emirates Airlines

'Hacktivist' group Anonymous plan Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) on World Cup sponsors
'Hacktivist' group Anonymous plan Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) on World Cup sponsors
'Hacktivist' group Anonymous plan Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) on World Cup sponsors
Protesters demonstrate outside Belfast City Hall as part of a planned Anonymous Million Mask March. Photograph by Patrick Foster
Protestors demonstrate outside Leinster House in Dublin as part of a planned Anonymous Million Mask March

Anonymous have announced they are preparing to launch a cyber-attack on the World Cup’s corporate sponsors during the tournament that starts in two weeks.

In an interview with news agency Reuters, one masked member of the group who called himself Che Commodore, said that preparations for a wide-scale campaign had begun.

Commodore claimed he had comprehensive knowledge of the activities of the international hacking group and gave Reuters a detailed blueprint of the companies they intend to target.

“We have a plan of attack. We have already conducted late-night tests to see which of the sites are more vulnerable … This time we are targeting the sponsors of the World Cup," he told the agency.

These sponsors include major corporations such as Coca Cola, Budweiser, Emirates Airlines and Adidas.

Commodore claims that in one of their tests earlier this week the group hacked into the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s server and leaked dozens of confidential documents.

He said the hacker AnonManifest used a Trojan virus to get into the Foreign Ministry’s databases and steal the email accounts of several diplomats.

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Commodore claimed 333 documents were released - the biggest cyber-security breach in Brazil since it was found the NSA had accessed President Dilma Roussef’s email account.

In response to the claims, a Foreign Ministry official told Reuters that 55 email accounts were accessed and the only documents that were obtained were attached to emails and those from the ministry's internal document archive.

The group, which use their hacking skills to take action against what the deem to be social injustice, are thought to be angry at the Brazilian government’s decision to finance the football tournament at cost of millions, even though many of country's citizens are unable to gain access to many basic services.

While the country has been beset with anti-World Cup protests across its major cities this is the first known case of high level hacking being used to attack the government.

It is believed the attack will be through Distributed Denial of Service, which sees a number of compromised systems access a website until it becomes overloaded and goes offline

Despite members of the group being arrested in the past, it is said the informal and non-hierarchical structure of Anonymous makes it hard for authorities to trace its members.

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