While athletes compete on center stage, Cyber Security issues are all the rage on behind the scenes
The ongoing Olympics 2016 sporting event in Brazil are a main location for a series of cyber security issues, predict IT security analysts.
Rio is hosting half a million people, in preparations of which many telecom and tech giants have invested to ensure secure and speedy network infrastructure. Also, Rio is predicted to be the most social Olympics with live streaming available on platforms like Periscope and Meerkat, alongside recently launched Facebook Live.
Surveys have suggested that users are eager to share favorite events, iconic ceremonies and unexpected moments in real-time, hence increasing the data usage tremendously… these sharing apps create and abundance of cyber security issues.
Visa addressing cyber security issues directed cardholders to opt both SMS notification and mobile Location Confirmation for safer use of their Visa services.
Riverbed Technology helped enterprises with cyber security issues related to on potential critical business application and network strain from employees streaming Olympic coverage and accessing associated content online at the office, adding that 85% percent of enterprises plan to more monitor network + app performance during summer games.
Around 72 % IT professionals expect a moderate to major increase in internet usage at their organizations due to the Summer Games with more than 79 percent acknowledging that their networks will be at greater risk due to increased internet usage. The lack of specific guidelines combined with the lack of special preventive measures by such a high number can lead to a detrimental effect on network security.
With 51 countries backing Brazil to prevent cyber scams, US has deployed more than a 1000 spies, with a joint number of hundreds of analysts, law enforcement and special operations personnel being already present in Rio de Janeiro, for checking via human intelligence, spy satellites, electronic eavesdropping, and cyber and social media monitoring.
With a history of the London 2012 Olympics where the team of cyber professionals assembled for the Games defended 11,000 malicious requests per second and blocked 212 million malicious connection attempts, the number of attempted attacks are likely to be even higher in this year’s event.
Top cyber security issues identified
Phishing -According to Proofpoint research, 15% of Olympics-related social media accounts were fraudulent and 82 percent were imposter accounts, misleadingly using Olympic branding to attract followers. Proofpoint found that 6% used the popularity of the Olympics to steal follower credentials in phishing attacks.
The social media accounts themselves don’t necessarily need to send the phishing attack directly. Attackers could take key information from the social media profiles of the new followers, such as their job and their interests. This info is fed into the phishing email to convince the victim that this comes from someone who knows them.
Rogue apps – Fake Olympics-related mobile apps. An example of a typical scam is – a conference attendee receives an email with a link purporting to be from the conference host. The email provides what seems to be links to Google Play and the App Store, with what appear to be official Google and Apple logos. When the user clicks these icons, they are immediately prompted to download the app, rather than being sent to the application stores. Once the app is downloaded and the device owner has given it the appropriate permissions, the device is fully compromised.
Fake Free Wi-Fi – Naturally, the Travelers to the Olympics are on the lookout for local free Wi-Fi and connect to that. However, hackers will be sensing an opportunity here. A fake Wi-Fi hotspot can masquerade as the local network at the Olympics, with a deceptive name like ‘Rio Official’, for example. These spoof hotspots can be owned and maintained by attackers and used to capture user information as it passes across the network.
Allot Communications. Reported that the Rio Olympic Games put mobile business Users at Risk. The analysis found that business-user sports fans’ risk from malware and other online threats more than doubled during the early days of the Rio Games, with 55% of the potential risk stemming from intensified social media activity.
Allot found that this major sporting event attracts both the fans and the cybercriminals. Cybercriminals take advantage of the increased interest in the events to spread malicious malware and perpetuate fraud through phishing emails with infected links, fake ticket sales, bogus apps, and other methods. The threat to business users is unique in that their online activity poses a risk not only to themselves, but also to the enterprise networks their devices are connected to.
Once the Games began, the percentage of business user sports fans using risky social media apps more than tripled over their pre-event activity, reaching 30.2% during the event versus 9.7% before the event.
Social media activity was prolific during the opening ceremony with many users multitasking on several social apps.