Brazil foreign ministry hit by barrage of malicious emails

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it was forced to disconnect from the internet for several hours after being bombarded by malicious emails.

The ministry said in a statement that technicians unplugged its internet connections after every email address in its system received a virus. It said service was restored after an eight-hour outage and no damage was detected to its network.

It is not unheard of for government agencies to take extreme measures to fight hackers. In 2014, the U.S. State Department took its unclassified email system offline for several days in an effort to kick out persistent intruders.

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Associated Press writer Raphael Satter reported this story from Paris and AP writer Mauricio Savarese reported from Rio de Janeiro.

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