by Constantine von Hoffman

5 Olympic Cyber Risks to Watch Out For

Jul 31, 20122 mins

Just a few of the ways the crooks are trying to fool you during the 2012 Olympic Games.

  1. Bad Apps – Anyone watching the 2012 Olympic Games in London via smartphone or tablet should be aware that there are many third-party applications not authorized by the Olympic Games. Consumer devices can be attacked when malicious applications are downloaded, as seen by by recent news about spam-distributing iPhone applications.
  2. Drive-by Attack – Malware can automatically begin downloading to your device during a visit to an infected website, email or pop-up ad. Cybercriminals link this software to seemingly authentic Olympic Games websites, for example the Flashback Trojan for Mac.
  3. Going Phishing – Fake Olympic Games links are littering Facebook and Twitter in order to get you to malware infected sites. Twitter links, for instance, are always shortened (e.g.…) and so you can’t tell where these links will lead – unless clicked upon, which in turn could instantly infect your machines. Also be aware that not all Twitter accounts are legit: Is @CNNInternatDesk really part of CNN?
  4. Search Engine Poisoning – Cybercriminals can fake you out when you are doing searches for information or images about the games. They will redirect you to malicious websites and rather than seeing an image of the unbelievably ugly mascot of the Olympic Games,  you can get an unbelievably ugly picture that is filled with malware.
  5. Ticket Scams – Hey you, over there in the UK: I know that Olympic Games organizers are rightfully getting a lot of heat because they gave so many tickets to corporate sponsors and so few to you fine Brits who actually paid for 9/10th  of the games. That doesn’t mean every place offering tickets is legit. Do your homework.

On another note: Glad to see the UK cops have their security priorities in order: They are doing a major crack down on graffiti artists. The police have painted over Olympic-themed murals and arrested several artists who are now barred from owning spray paint or being “within one mile of any Olympic venue in London or elsewhere in England.” The authorities say the crackdown “was to prevent the commission of offenses and to protect the integrity of the Olympic Games.” Fortunately it doesn’t seem to be working. The great Banksy (below) and others continue to offer some wonderful editorial comments.