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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Hackers plot World Cup cyber attacks

Hackers are planning to launch cyber attacks to disrupt the 2014 World Cup, with one cyber security expert telling Reuters: “It's not a question of whether the cup will be targeted but when.”

The eyes of the world will be on Brazil this summer.
The eyes of the world will be on Brazil this summer.

Vickery: Tensions in Brazil

Brazil has already endured significant problems in the build-up to this summer’s tournament, with the public launching large-scale protests over the exorbitant cost of hosting.

Reuters reports that online activists are now planning to launch attacks ranging from jamming websites to data theft.

Brazil has significant problems with internet crime but, despite concerns over a lack of investment in online security, the head of the cyber command for the nation’s army, General Jose Carlos dos Santos, is remaining cautiously optimistic.

“It would be reckless for any nation to say it's 100 percent prepared for a threat, but Brazil is prepared to respond to the most likely cyber threats,” he said.

It appears supporters are not the intended targets, with one activist telling Reuters: “The attacks will be directed against official websites and those of companies sponsoring the cup.”

However, Terra reported earlier this month that hackers are looking to steal data and spread viruses by sending out emails claiming supporters have the opportunity to win tickets.

Nelson Barbosa, of computer security corporation Symantec, said: “Threats relating to the World Cup can affect people all around the world. This has been carried out in South Africa, Russia and other European countries.”

With hackers viewing the World Cup as an opportunity to attract the attention of a global audience, William Beer, a cyber security expert with consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal, said online attacks were inevitable.

“It's not a question of whether the cup will be targeted but when, so resilience and response become extremely important,” he said.

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