Hacks could be tried under criminal code

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The cyber attacks registered Wednesday (Jun 22) in Brazil, affecting three government websites, could be prosecuted under article 265 of the national criminal code, Alexandre Daoun, attorney with law firm Carvalho e Daoun Advogados Associados, was quoted as saying by local daily Valor Online.

Given the type of attack (denial-of-service) and the sites hacked - Brazil's federal government, the presidency and the tax collection agency - it seems that the reasons behind them were for the hackers to merely show off. From what is known so far, there has been no financial or confidential data loss, he said.

The Lulz Security (LulzSec) group of hackers has reportedly taken credit for the attacks.

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According to Daoun, these actions can be prosecuted under the criminal code because it deals with attacks on services of public utility, and "while in principle there is no financial loss, it may be argued there was damage to public services."

"Every crime leaves digital tracks, but you can only fight technology with technology. Unfortunately, IT security is still very poor in the country," he added.

In March last year, the government announced the launch of a renewed federal website - one of the three just attacked - that carried a price tag of no less than 11mn reais (US$6.9mn).

In the past month, LulzSec has reportedly attacked high profile entities such as the US senate, the CIA website and Sony.