- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SAO PAULO (AP) - A group of Internet hackers said Tuesday it took down the website of Brazil’s second largest private sector bank, one day after it did the same with the country’s largest private bank.

The group that calls itself “Anonymous Brasil” said on Twitter: “Attention sailors: Target hit! The https://bradesco.com.br is sinking. TANGO DOWN.”

Banco Bradesco SA said in a statement that its site suffered “momentary interruptions,” due to a denial of service attack, but that it was never forced offline. However, attempts by The Associated Press to access the site were unsuccessful for several hours.

Denial of service attacks are operations that block websites by flooding them with traffic.

The group said on Twitter that its attacks were a protest against corruption and would continue for at least a week.

On Monday, the group attacked the website of Itau Unibanco Banco Multiplo SA, Brazil’s largest private sector bank, saying it was the first of several such attacks.

That bank said in a statement that its site was offline for part of the day, but that it was re-established after the problem was detected.

The Brazilian Federation of Banks said in a statement posted on its website that it has been calling for approval of a law that criminalizes electronic attacks and fraud.

One week ago, the websites of the Sao Paulo state government and state court were taken down for a few hours by the same group of hackers.

Anonymous Brasil said the attacks were to protest the evictions of some 5,000 people from a sprawling slum.

In June last year, hackers struck the website of Brazil’s statistics agency and temporarily blocked traffic to the websites of the Brazilian presidency, the nation’s internal revenue service, oil company Petrobras, the Senate and the Sports Ministry

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