Fortinet today cautioned ardent football fans in the Middle East to stay vigilant against cyber-attacks during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Tournament. “Large-scale international sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup are major cyber-attack targets, even for ordinary individuals,” said Alain Penel, Regional Vice President – Middle East at Fortinet. “Hackers know that in their excitement to watch the latest action or learn the latest scores, computer users often forget common sense and neglect safe computing habits.”
Fortinet expects a spike in online scams and phishing attacks as the world’s greatest football show gets underway, and offers five security tips to survive cyber threats during FIFA World Cup 2018:
- Be careful where you view live coverage: Whether viewing live coverage, event replays, or checking medal statistics online, it’s important to visit only trusted websites. Events which gain significant public interest and media coverage are often used as lures for spam or spear-phishing campaigns. Malicious actors may also create fake websites and domains that appear to be official Olympic news or coverage that can be used to deliver malware to an end-user upon visiting the site (also known as drive-by downloads or watering holes).
- Watch out for phishing attacks: Users may receive spam email announcing that they are the lucky winners of a lottery for tickets to the World Cup finals. While it may be highly tempting to click on an email link that says “You have won 2 tickets for the finals of the World Cup,” be careful. By clicking on that link, you could be taken to a compromised website that downloads malware onto your computer, stealing your data and personal information.
- Beware of online retailers offering discounted tickets or cheap merchandise: If you come across an online store that is offering games tickets or merchandise at unbelievably low prices, check to make sure it’s a legitimate store and not a false front that will disappear later that day along with your credit card information. A real-life example of these sort of risks is detailed in our recent blog post “You Will Fall For This One Day…”
- Keep software updated: Running the most updated versions of your operating system, security software, apps and Web browsers is among the best defenses against malware, viruses and other online threats. Cyber-attackers usually target flaws and vulnerabilities in outdated browsers and plug-ins. It is best to have your security software and web browser update automatically to minimize exposure to known threats.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots: While it can be tempting, avoid connecting to unknown Wi-Fi hotspots to watch the games. An insecure hotspot makes it easier for hackers to intercept logins and passwords, email messages, attached documents and other personal and confidential information. If you must use Wi-Fi, use authorized access points which have password protected encryption.