In August, Brazil will once again be the center of the sporting world as the host of the upcoming 2016 summer games. While the success of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil demonstrated that the country has the capability to host global sporting events, it also demonstrated the tendency—and ability—of cybercriminals to capitalize on such huge events.
Big events such as international sports tournaments are triggers for social engineering tactics and other activities that usually lead to identity theft and fraud, as evidenced by the number of World Cup-related scams and malicious apps we saw in 2014.
The previous games held in 2012 also had its fair share of cybercriminal activity. Attackers know that sports enthusiasts are more susceptible during the rush and excitement around major events, as fans from all over the world look for online deals, coupled with an influx of tourists who may be unfamiliar with the host country, its language, and customs.
The characteristic traps vary—bogus online ticket deals, email spamming and malware-infested streaming sites are examples of the most common threats. We can expect the same and more of it this year in Brazil. Brazilian hackers are known to specialize in banking fraud while the country is known for its lax cybercrime laws.
The typical threats you might encounter during global sporting events
Fake Sites and Phishing Scams Because of realistic pages and legitimate-looking URLs, phishing sites and fake e-commerce pages bring in big business for cybercriminals, and they're getting harder to spot. In a rush to buy discounted seats, fans carelessly provide personal and financial information, or even pay for a non-existent bargain. For those watching from home, streaming links for the games lead to malicious sites and phishing scams.
Spam Emails Contests and lotteries are the typical bait used by spam email. Notifications for free tickets and giveaways lead you into downloading malware or a phishing page that asks you to share personal information or log in with account credentials. Logos and official-looking headers on incoming mail are no guarantee either, as cybercriminals are getting better at designing their pages.
Threats aren’t limited to online transactions; cybercriminals continuously update old scams and invent new ways to take advantage of your devices.
A free USB charging station can be tempting for many tourists, and opens up many possibilities for criminals. A fake charging station could let an attacker connect to your device and gain access to steal personal information, infect the device, and even exert a certain level of functional control over it.
ATM scammers are also becoming more creative and use different methods to compromise users. Criminals have gone from rigging the keypad and screen to using more sophisticated ATM malware that don't require physical access. Face-to-face cons are also prevalent—you should be wary of “helpful” strangers who offer to assist you as criminals may disguise themselves as bank employees.
Modern credit cards have EMV technology in place to secure against Point-of-Sale (PoS) attacks, but the Brazilian cybercriminal underground also specializes in credit card cloning. In fact, criminals in the country were the first to successfully clone EMV credit cards. Be cautious of where you use your credit card and who has access to it.
Unsecured Connections From fans who want to share selfies on social media to reporters covering the event and offering live updates—everyone needs to be connected to the internet. Organizers committed to provide free WiFi in 60 facilities across the tournament grounds, available through local mobile carrier Claro and phone service Embratel. Cisco Systems is responsible for the network infrastructure with 7,000 WiFi access points and 100,000 LAN portal networks.
Although it is tempting to connect to a free network, be wary of unsecured and unverified networks. Criminals can set up fake access points and provides easy access to their network, enabling them to intercept information and steal data.
What You Should Do…
Before you leave
When you’re there
Watching from home
Like it? Add this infographic to your site:
1. Click on the box below. 2. Press Ctrl+A to select all. 3. Press Ctrl+C to copy. 4. Paste the code into your page (Ctrl+V).
Image will appear the same size as you see above.