A few months ago the Department of Homeland Security started warning us about the activity of cyber criminals and hactivists during major social events. I’d say the Summer Olympics is the most major social event of them all. That is unless you are bigger Winter Olympics fan. With all eyes on London today and the excitement of tracking gold medal winners, I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind those of us watching the games from a distance some of the ways we can take part in the Olympics in a not so good way…
Phishing – While the ticket fraud frenzy decreases every day the Games take place, there are still phishing emails circulating offering great deals on event tickets. Like all other phishing emails, these are designed to trick someone into giving away their personal information.
Computer Viruses – There are known attempts of computer viruses being passed along through pdf files. If you haven’t installed the latest Adobe Reader version, do it now. On all your personal and/or employee computers. But be careful, you want to make sure you are installing the right software and not an imposter. You can get the latest version off of Adobe’s product updates page.
SEO – PC Magazine describes how fraudsters are using search engine optimization techniques to distribute malware and viruses
Cyber-criminals can also create malicious sites to distribute fake antivirus and other types of rogueware. They employ SEO tricks to ensure these sites appear on search result pages for certain keywords, and users are tricked into downloading malicious software. There will also be sites offering exclusive footage, but really using fake videos and codecs to distribute malware.
The lesson here is to scrutinize any link you click. And to make sure you have updated your anti-virus software.
While not specifically mentioned, social media could definitely play a part into tricking interested fans to click links via twitter, flickr or video sharing sites. Definitely be extra vigilant for the next 17 days – but don’t ever let your guard down. Unfortunately there are no closing ceremonies on fraud.