Cyber villains like the events you attend – Here’s why

August 3, 2018 11:05 am


Cyber penetration has been growing since the first hack of AOL back in 2004, where a computer engineer stole 92 million emails and sold them to spammers, according to MSN.

Multiple reports have since surfaced, like the 2015 incident involving Anthem, an insurance company, which lost the data of 80 million people. The company believes this includes names, passwords, and other sensitive data, such as security numbers and phone numbers, according to the company’s website.

Another more recent hack was the 2017 attack on Equifax, a credit reporting agency, which lost the data of 143 million people. Reports say that the breach might include credit card numbers and much more information than what was previously believed, according to Forbes.

Hackers are now targeting people who congregate around events, as was evident with the recent Russia World Cup (WC) 2018.

Read: UAE, Saudi not in top global crypto cities: Who is and why?

Vladimir Putin to the rescue

Even before the first WC whistle, news sites warned fans about cyber attacks and were proven eventually to be correct.

Mr. Deane-McKenna said to Express UK a news source: “The lax security controls on public WiFi makes it easy for hackers to steal your information while browsing.

“Taking control of the network, hackers can see the information sent between the device and the destination. So, if you use passwords or send sensitive information, hackers could steal that data.”

Did Vladimir Putin save the day?

Maybe not him exactly, but you can thank Russia for fans’ and visitors’ credit card data remaining safe, because the country thwarted 25 million cyber attacks targeting the FIFA World Cup this year, according to ABC news.

Seven days before the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FIFA confirmed that 2,403,116 tickets were sold. However, cyber attacks were not just aimed at those people.

Recent reports show that the games were the most streamed in the world.

Many watched the games in different places where open and unsecured WiFi was available. Statistics released by Akamai show that the games achieved 9.7 million concurrent streams during the World Cup.

Phishing attacks were the most common during the event, although the exact statistics of the affected is still unknown, ABCnews added.

Phishing is just like the name suggests: You have the attacker who uses a fake website that redirects a victim to it, then that victim would enter his/her login information, leading to an error. However, that password and username are saved into a text file or sent to the attacker by email.

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How to protect yourself

Usually, these attacks are easy to spot by just looking at the link in the browser. For example, “Facebook” can be something like “Faceboook,” or “Amazon” can be instead “Arnazon.”

You can also check if the website is HTTPS (the S is the crucial part). Moreover, the Chrome browser will now tell you if a site is “unsecured” or “secure.”

Although this is not always the case, some “phishers” are very experienced and can hijack your DNS to send you an HTML file with the same address to get your data and log in.

Emails are another way of reaching out to victims, but the good news is that Gmail’s and Outlook’s advanced AIs make these emails go unnoticed in the spam folders. However, in some rare cases, these emails can go through the cracks and reach your inbox. Malicious files such as PDFs, Docx documents or sometimes images can be infected to penetrate your system. These penetrations can sometimes be keyloggers, which track what you write on your keyboard or any of the current malware out there.

Caution is advised.

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Edmon Abdul Nur
By Edmon Abdul Nur
Technology Editor
Edmon Abdul Nur has more than 3 years of professional experience in technology research, cybersecurity testing, and IT understanding.



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