2012 Olympics: sports fans targeted

G Data warns of increased cyber attacks and fraud during the Olympics

07/24/2012 | Bochum (Germany) 

Starting this week, athletes from around the world will once again compete for medals, as the 2012 Summer Olympics get under way in London on Friday. But fans aren't the only ones interested in this major international event - cyber criminals are also using the Olympics to specifically target sports enthusiasts. G Data is thus expecting an increase in spam emails, phishing and malware attacks, designed to lure unsuspecting Olympics fans into traps to steal their personal data, including credit card details

Which scam scenarios might be expected?

Online criminals might pursue various courses of action during the Summer Olympics:

  • -  Dubious ticket offers by email: spam emails offering tickets for various events or the opening and closing ceremonies at prices that are too good to be true. These messages often contain links that sometimes lead to online ticket shops, but often they also lead to online farmacies.

  • -  Phishing through fake ticket shops: Perpetrators use emails or social network messages to lure their victims to dubious online shops with fake offers of tickets for the Olympics. When orders are placed, the cyber fraudsters capture the payment data and other personal information.

  • -  Malware-infested websites: Messages with abbreviated links in social networks or emails are used to lure users to infected websites. Funny videos, live streams of medals being won, alleged doping scandals or preliminary competition results are used as bait.

To make sure you don't fall for these traps, make sure not to open spam mails, never click on links in e-mails or messages on social media platforms. Make sure your operating system, browser and other software is completely up-to-date and patched at all times. A comprehensive security software suite with http filter offers further protection against these scams.

What might happen in London itself?

Fans in London itself will also be targeted by criminals. This involves perpetrators setting up special free Wi-Fi hot spots that enable them to read all the users' data traffic. However, sports fans should not only be wary of public Wi-Fi networks and Internet cafes. Thieves might also specifically target smartphones, tablet PCs and notebooks, steal them, and gain access to the data stored on these devices. Olympics fans should therefore hold on to their mobile devices and never leave them unattended. Users can take precautionary measures in case their device is stolen by installing a security solution on the smartphone or tablet, enabling them to delete all their data or lock the device remotely if they lose it. Hence users are prepared for this eventuality too.

Daniëlle van Leeuwen