Security Issues Plague World Cup – Security News Roundup

brazil-world-cup-securityWith the 2014 World Cup kickoff just hours away, international focus has shifted to Brazil, where protests and allegations of unpreparedness have plagued coverage of the event. We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting security stories from the Cup below.

Mass Protests Mar World Cup Proceedings

In the weeks and months leading up to the World Cup, Brazil has seen demonstrations and protests throughout the country, but mainly in metropolitan areas like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which is set to host the first match. While there are a number of contributing factors to the unrest in Brazil, the major thruline seems to be anger over wealth disparity: this year’s World Cup is the most expensive in history, set to cost somewhere between $15 and $20 billion, while millions in Brazil go without basic necessities (adequate health care, education, and clean water). For a full rundown of the historical context to the protests in Brazil, check out this great piece over at ABCRadio National Australia.

As a result of the protests, Brazil is implementing a number of security measures (some of which we’ll discuss below). This handy infographic should give you an idea of the emphasis the host country is placing on security.

Brazil Disperses Security Forces of 170,000 Across 12 Host Cities

Brazil is set to deploy 170,000 security forces across the 12 host cities, with small support forces from international participants. Experts expect more than 600,000 visitors from outside the country, which has led to this expanded security force as well as a host of enhanced technology. They have also enacted border closures, begun security sharing with other countries to tack known “soccer hooligans” to improve security at the games, and targeting protest organizers to minimize violence and disruptions proactively.


Brazilian Authorities Express Major Security Concerns for World Cup

Although President Dilma Rouseff and other top officials in Brazil and at FIFA continue to express confidence about the safety and success of the pending World Cup, other officials and security experts have painted a more complex picture. The chief concerns are terrorist attacks, widespread violent protests from Brazilians angry about how the issue of poverty has been swept under the rug, public muggings – which are rampant in Brazilian cities – of tourists, and “hooliganism.” These worries have led them to step up a number of security strategies, from coordinating with international law enforcement to ousting people from local favelas, poor and semi-permanent neighborhoods.


Phishers Make Fraudulent World Cup Websites to Rob Soccer Fans

Fraudulent websites are popping up trying to scam unwitting soccer fans. The pace has increased significantly in the past week, with newer phishing websites becoming very sophisticated in their efforts to mimic authentic domains of the World Cup and its sponsors. They all have one goal: to take advantage of World Cup fever and get users to input private information including usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers, by convincing them the site is legitimate. Some target mobile users, others initiate email scams using stolen information. A senior security researcher said they identify more than 50 new phishing domains every day in Brazil alone.


X-Ray Inspection and Centralized Control Centers Will Protect World Cup Stadiums

International technology is being brought in to help Brazil secure the World Cup. Israel is contributing an integrated security solutions platform built around a command center that lets arena managers survey over 300 different areas from one location, while controlling any local third-party systems and applications to manage data flows, admissions and ticketing, and keep everything moving smoothly and safely. China has been selected to install new X-Ray inspection tech at nine of the twelve stadiums, as well as to train local technicians in their use and maintenance.

Read More at and

Brazilian Security Forces to Use Facial-Recognition Goggles

High tech security measures will play a major role in Brazil’s efforts to keep the World Cup safe, unsurprisingly. Although it’s uncertain of the facial recognition tech that Russia deployed to unimpressive effect at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games will make another appearance, security guards in Brazil will patrol the events with facial-recognition goggles to identify people by checking them against state threat lists.

Read More at The Guardian

(Image by Ben Tavener, licensed under Creative Commons. For more photos of World Cup protest graffiti in Brazil, click here.)

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