As the Rio Olympics approach large crowds (August 5-21), cyberpirates have every intention of playing spoilsport by disrupting this great sporting celebration. Especially if Russian athletes are excluded from the event.
The Rio Olympics (August 5-21) will not only attract athletes and tourists this year. Hackers from around the world will also be there, trying to exploit this international event. This means that visitors to the Olympics, and even people watching from home, will have to be vigilant. Cyber threats related to these games will probably increase in the coming weeks and could sneak into your mailbox or the sites you visit.
“The Olympics have become a beacon for cybercriminals,” said Samir Kapuria, senior vice president of Symantec. “A lot of money is spent on this international event, so hackers naturally want their piece of the pie. During past sporting events, hackers have set up bogus betting and ticketing services to coax and deceive users. This time they will also run phishing campaigns and use social media to spread malware.
Think before you click when it’s too good to be true
“Users will see these posts and links thinking they are seeing a video of a javelin throw record or a great deal on great seats for the event. But in reality, they find themselves downloading ransomware that can take their data hostage,” warned Samir Kapuira. “Think before clicking, especially if something seems too good to be true. »
For his part, Thomas Fischer, a security researcher at Digital Guardian, has already noticed an increase in “Nigerian-style” attacks (scams) scripted around the Olympic Games and containing a bogus lottery ticket as an attachment. The only gain for the user who will be trapped will be to click on malicious code which will unknowingly download the Locky ransomware which will then begin to encrypt their files. The jackpot in a way. Hackers are already at work and store email addresses to send booby-trapped messages claiming to belong to organizations such as the Olympic Committee. The string is big but can unfortunately cause a lot of victims because everyone is likely to receive this type of email, usually written in English (but localized versions are to be expected).
The dark scenario of bank fraud
Visitors currently en route to Rio de Janeiro will also enter a country notorious for online banking fraud, security companies say. And it is not with the local laws in force in Brazil that it will be possible to fight cybercrime properly. In a report Trend Micro took a close look at it and it appears that the hackers show a blatant disregard for the law. “They will abuse social media and talk about their criminal experience without fear of repercussions,” said Ed Cabrera, the publisher’s vice president of cybersecurity. Many Brazilian hackers also develop trojans that pose as legitimate banking software but can actually steal victims’ account information. However, many of these Brazilian malware targets local users and not necessarily foreigners, but that’s nothing to be happy about.
Tourists should also be careful as any banking trojan can be dangerous. Because the malware can spy on users’ computers, warns Dimitry Bestuzhev, head of security research at Kaspersky Lab. It also urges visitors to be aware of ticket machines and Brazilian point-of-sale terminals. They can often be infected with malicious code that can secretly steal payment data when a card is swallowed. “The hacker has the ability to intercept data and then clone the card,” adds Bestuzhev. But other dangers lurk. WiFi spots in Brazil are often unsecured. Here again a hacker can take advantage of this and access the user’s personal data as well as steal passwords. To avoid the worst, it is therefore better to use a VPN service to encrypt your IP communications.
Daesh terrorists on the go
The other big threat that could disrupt the Olympics comes from hacktivists, warned Robert Muggah, security specialist at Brazilian think tank Igarapé Institute. Anonymous, for example, took aim at the event and may well end up embarrassing the country’s government. This group has already managed to temporarily bring down the official site of the Rio 2016 Olympics on May 11, then the day after the Brazilian site of the Ministry of Sports.
But there is much more serious. “Analysts are also worried about the terrorists of the Islamic State”, blew Robert Muggah. Thus, this organization tried to use the encrypted messaging app Telegram to attract supporters in Brazil. However, local authorities have honed their cyber defenses and this is not the first time that this country has organized major events, the latest having been the 2014 Football World Cup. carried out by local authorities to warn travelers of all these potential threats. Including that of having your smartphone stolen. We must not forget that there an iPhone costs 1,000 dollars due to particularly high taxes.