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Anonymous Targets Brazilian Banks In Fight Against ‘Inequality’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Some of Brazil’s biggest banks have been hit by DDoS Attacks, although customer accounts are believed to be unaffected

Several Brazilian banks have been attacked by hactivist collective Anonymous in a protest against widespread inequality in the country.

Five banks in total have been targeted, although there is no evidence to suggest that customer accounts have been compromised.

Unsophisticated attacks

The attacks initially targeted Brazil’s largest state-run bank, Banco do Brasil, Itau, the biggest private bank in Latin America, and the country’s third largest bank Bradesco.

Hackers claiming to be part of Anonymous’ Brazilian branch claimed responsibility for the attacks in economic publication Valor, adding that they did not want to defraud clients, but protest against the “countless inequalities in the country”.

This campaign has since expanded, with the group boasting that it had taken down Citigroup’s consumer website and the global and local websites of HSBC, which said that customer accounts in the US and Canada were unaffected.

Both HSBC and Bradesco said that they were experiencing unusually high levels of traffic, leading to conclusions that the banks have been the subject of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). DDos Attacks are difficult to stop as they simply involved bombarding a website with traffic until it struggles to cope. Previous reports have indicated that many people may be unwitting participants in Anonymous attacks.

In recent weeks, Anonymous has attacked Polish government websites over the country’s support for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), while members of the collective were also accused of issuing a bomb threat and launching a campaign of cyber-attacks against a Finnish anti-piracy group.

Anonymous has targeted the banks before, most notably during a campaign over the Christmas period which aimed to steal virtual credit cards from the banks and give something “back to the people”.