Stay Ahead of Potential Cyber Threats This World Cup Season

Sophos reminded football fans of how cybercriminals have used people’s interest in the sport to launch cyber attacks. Football has been
targeted before by those who want to turn international community events into attacks.

It’s a sad fact, that cyber attacks often go hand in hand with major sporting events, including the World Cup, as they give cyber criminals easy access to a frequent stream of online activities from incautious soccer fans

The Security Service of Ukraine issued acyber attack warning that the VPN Filter malware infecting internet routers and other devices was a preparation of a cyber-attack aimed at impacting the Champions League final held  in Ukraine.

A select history of World Cup cyber threats

During 1998 World Cup Series in France, the ZMK-Jvirus asked netizens to gamble on who would win. If you got the answer wrong, the malware triggered an exploit which was capable of wiping all the data off your hard drive. In 2002, Chick-F spread via email and instant messages, posing as a web utility which would bring up-to-the-minute results from Korea and Japan. The 2006 German malware Zasran-D infected users with a backdoor (remote access) virus under the pretense of free tickets, while South Africa saw a Frankfurt man in 2010 successfully blackmail three online betting sites by threatening them with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks which could have blasted them off the internet. Just 4 years ago in Brazil, we saw websites associated with the World Cup struck by a DDoS attack ahead of the
tournament’s opening match.

This year, public awareness levels are generally higher and that is a good sign. The same holds true for the participating teams. For example, the English Football Association has already warned England players to not use public or hotel Wi-Fi in Russia over fears of hacking. With World Cup 2018 in Russia underway, it is important that organisations and people stay vigilant, at all times. This year’s World Cup is set to be the most streamed football event in history and with that, fans should be more cautious about potential cyber threats.

To ensure your digital devices’ security from cyber-attacks, you may download and use these Sophos tools for free.

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