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Emirates takes action over World Cup hacker threat

Dubai airline taken measures to protect itself after being named as a target

Emirates takes action over World Cup hacker threat

Emirates has taken precautions to protect its networks after it was warned a hacker group was planning to launch a cyber attack against because of its sponsorship of the World Cup in Brazil.

Last week, the group calling itself Anonymous attacked the Brazil's Foreign Ministry computer networks and leaked dozens of confidential emails, in protest at the lavish spending on the soccer games in a country struggling to provide basic services.

A source within the group told Reuters it was now turning its attention to commercial sponsors supporting the event.

"This time we are targeting the sponsors of the World Cup," the source said in a Skype conversation from an undisclosed location in Brazil. "We have already conducted late-night tests to see which of the sites are more vulnerable," the hacker, who operates under the alias of Che Commodore, said. "We have a plan of attack."

Asked to name the potential targets he mentioned Adidas, Emirates Airline, the Coca-Cola Co and Budweiser, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

An Emirates spokesperson told Arabian Business the Dubai airline "has been made aware of the potential threats and has taken the necessary measures to prepare ourselves should the need arise".

The spokesperson did not elaborate on what specific actions have been taken or how they were informed of the potential threat.

The threat of cyber-attacks is yet another headache for the organisers 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.

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.

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

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