Brazilian hackers target Microsoft sites

A Brazilian band of hackers known as Prime Suspectz defaced four Microsoft Corp. Web sites last week, according to, a Web site that documents hacks.

The hackers defaced the MSNBC Sports Scoreboard site and evidence of the hack was still apparent as of last Friday morning, according to a mirror image of the site defacement. Prime Suspectz slapped a picture of a nuclear explosion, tagged the image with the Prime Suspectz logo and offered a caption that partially read in Portuguese: “Prepare yourself for the Prime Suspectz marathon.”

According to, the defacement did not show up at all times because the MSNBC site is run on a server farm. It only loaded up after repeatedly refreshing the Web page.

MSNBC spokesman Peter Dorogoff said security officials discovered the defacement of the Scoreboard site last Friday morning. A third party runs the servers that house the Scoreboard and they were taken offline once the hack was discovered. By about 11 a.m. PDT, everything was back to normal, he said. The hack did nothing to the main MSNBC site, Dorogoff said. He said he was unaware of any other hacks done to MSNBC.

In addition to the MSNBC site, Prime Suspectz last Thursday also defaced the Web sites of Microsoft subsidiaries in Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, according to On each defacement, Prime Suspectz boasted that it “owns MS” and, on at least two of the sites, stated that “Brazil Rulez.”

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said the Microsoft Mexico and Saudi Arabia sites were restored and corrected almost immediately. The Microsoft U.K. site was hacked in the middle of the night and was restored relatively quickly, he said. Third parties run the sites for Microsoft in Mexico and the United Kingdom and they are not connected to the Redmond, Wash.’s corporate network, he said. No consumer data was compromised by the three defacements, Desler said.

Prime Suspectz has made Microsoft a target in the past. It hacked the Microsoft New Zealand site in January.

Microsoft can be reached at