World Cup: Target with huge potential for cybercriminals
by SPMJ, Brazil
In 2006, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, declared that the World Cup managed to be even more universal than the UN itself, as FIFA had 207 members compared to 191 of the United Nations. From this statement, it is already possible to understand the dimension and power of attraction that the Cup and its stars exert on the world’s population. At the last event, in Russia, the audience reached 3.5 billion people. This year, in the Qatari edition, it is estimated at an incredible 5 billion people!
With all this visibility, the World Cup is a target with enormous potential for cybercrime actions. There is a real possibility of an increase in online scams practiced before and during a sporting event of this magnitude. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to fake and fraudulent websites, portals and e-mails that may appear official, especially those related to the event.
Cybercriminals often use mega-events like the FIFA World Cup as a pretext to attract and hook fans or unsuspecting users. While connectivity during a major event like the World Cup can be a challenge, the even greater difficulty is keeping users’ data secure.
During global mega-events, bad actors often take advantage of the massive movement on the internet, scale and intensify attacks on companies’ infrastructure, whether it’s itself, in data centres or in the cloud, with new and sophisticated tactics such as exploiting stolen credentials and identifying them to amplify ransomware attacks or even invade companies. Participants often find fake and fraudulent websites and emails that appear official, luring them with cheaper tickets, or simply by promising to broadcast the games live. With this, they can expose themselves to several additional blows.
Using service providers with few security and visibility policies and solutions can also result in theft of credentials, passwords and credit card information. Other threats include falling victim to ransomware or malicious software that can infect a user’s phone or computer. This can cause the unknown victim to spread the malware to family and friends, lose confidential data, or even suffer significant financial consequences.
Taking a rigorous and comprehensive approach is important when it comes to mega-events. It is therefore necessary to incorporate more than just basic security standards. The organizations involved in these events must assume additional responsibility for the development and operation of essential security to create a more secure software system. There is no better way to mitigate cyberattacks on such important events than to first understand them fully.
Users should approach website links in relation to the World Cup and all digital communication regarding the event always with caution. They should avoid clicking on emails or links from suspicious websites and ensure they are always using the latest versions of web browsers and never enter their credentials, passwords or credit card information on suspicious websites.
With attention, information and assistance from cybersecurity companies like NETSCOUT, organizations, companies and users feel safer and, thus, reduce the risks of a widespread attack aimed at their data and application infrastructures, which can always cause losses and irreparable damage.