The 2012 London Olympics kick off this Friday and a good portion of the world’s population will be tuned in to see which countries come out on top, which athletes set new records and what scandals rise to the surface. But so many eyes in one place and so many people constantly seeking information is like a gold mine for unscrupulous individuals online. With that in mind, ThreatMatrix put out a list of the top 5 cyber threats you’ll most likely encounter during this year’s Olympics fever. From PCWorld:
1. Shady Apps
There will be a variety of apps available for the various mobile platforms to help people view Olympic events, keep track of medal winners, access statistics and relevant information, and more from their mobile devices. As we have seen time and time again, though, there are shady third-party apps that surreptitiously access information from mobile devices without explicit permission, or reach out to everyone in your contacts to get them to download and use the app as well. … Stick to official Olympics apps, or at least apps from established, trusted developers.
2. Drive-By Downloads
With the right vulnerability to exploit, attackers may be able to install malicious software on your PC just by getting you to visit a website. … Just by visiting a website providing Olympics coverage or information, it’s possible your PC could end up infected or compromised. And, no, the risk is not limited to the Windows operating system.
3. Hidden Links
As people share news and information about the London Olympics via Twitter, the associated links will inevitable be shortened using services like Bit.ly–obfuscating the true URL. … Most people will simply click away, possibly ending up at a malicious site that could infect or compromise their PC.
4. Search Engine Poisoning
Basically, attackers can use search engine optimization techniques to try and game the system and get malicious sites ranked at the top of search results. Most people inherently trust the top search results and won’t think twice about clicking them to dive deeper.
5. Phishing Attacks
If you happen to be in London during the Olympics you might feel compelled to try and attend an event or two. Be very, very careful with searching for or buying tickets. Cyber criminals will use the lure of tickets to draw victims to malicious sites. … Cyber criminals will use Olympics news, photos, video clips, and other Olympics-related information as bait to get users to either visit malicious websites, or con them into sharing personal or financial information.
“All of the cybercrime risk associated with the Olympics can be overwhelming to consumers,” said Andreas Baumhof, chief technology officer, ThreatMetrix. “However, simple steps can be taken to avoid malware attacks associated with the Olympics. These steps include keeping all software up-to-date, using only official Olympic sites and applications and being hyperaware of all web and mobile device activity. Don’t click on any link that comes your way, even if it looks interesting–it may be a costly click.”
Read the full article at PCWorld >>>
While you should always be careful about the links you follow online you need to pay even more attention during the Olympics. The global interest generated by this event will attract and centralize more scammers than usual and you’ll be dealing with websites and infromation that you may not be accustomed to searching for. So before you click on a link, take a minute to think about where you found it, what the meta description says (and if it’s profession and well written), who posted it and if the post seems characteristic (if your friend rarely posts to Facebook or always uses perfect grammar, a misspelled status update with a link isn’t very characteristic).
So enjoy the games and keep up on all the latest info but take steps to protect yourself from cyber attacks.