FIFA World Cup a big opportunity for cybercriminals

Pune, 14 June-2014, Shivani Shinde Nadhe/BS: As the FIFA World Cup fever grips the world over the next month, cybercriminals are using all opportunity in targeting users online as well as offline.

Security advisories from across the globe are cautioning users about the various scams and phishing attacks that can take place. This is not all football fans for the first time will also be targeted offline.

FIFA World Cup a big opportunity for cybercriminals

FIFA World Cup a big opportunity for cybercriminals

Security solutions firm Kaspersky Lab advises football fans traveling to Brazil to use AC/DC chargers available locally carefully. As cyber criminals are making use of fake AC/DC chargers to steal details from user smartphones.

A malicious AC/DC charger in Brazil will still charge your battery, but at the same time it can silently steal information from your smartphone. The interception will happen via a USB connection, as the majority of plugs use this type of connection. In some cases these fake chargers can also install malware capable of tracking your location, stealing notes, contacts, pictures, messages as well as call records, saved passwords and even browser cookies.

“Cybercriminals know that when people are away from home and need their smartphones to access maps, routes and all other kinds of information, they tend to use any available charger, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Keep in mind that you could fall victim and lose sensitive personal data” said Dmitry Bestuzhev, Kaspersky Lab’s Head of Global Research and Analysis Team in Latin America,

The other threat point for travelers will be accessing Wi-fi. About 26 per cent of the 5,000 open Wi-Fi networks in Sao Paolo don’t use any encryption.

“Kaspersky Lab security experts conducted research into Wi-Fi access in São Paulo. They drove 100 km around the city and checked out more than 5,000 different access points popular among tourists- parks, malls, airports and other attractions. As a result of the study, it turned out that 26 per cent of the 5,000 open Wi-Fi networks in São Paolo don’t use any encryption,” said the company.

This is not all, for those who will not be traveling other than fake website, security advisers are asking users to be aware of fake and malicious versions of World Cup-themed apps. Trend Micro, a security solutions provider, has already found more than 375 questionable or outright malicious World Cup-themed apps.

“The vast majority of these apps lurks from third party app stores, so users are advised to avoid them altogether or to be extra careful when reviewing apps they want to install from them. Installing a mobile security solution is also a good idea,” said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, India & SEA, Trend Micro.

World Cup fans everywhere should watch out for free ticket scams, news service scams, and online streaming scams. Security solutions and storage specialist Symantec has already identified several email scams and expects to see attempts to target fans on social networks.

“The most common scam around the World Cup involves free tickets. After all, what fan would not want an all-expenses paid trip to Brazil? Scammers know a dream come true is hard to pass up and circulate emails promising everything imaginable,” said an official blog from Symantec.

Scammers are also targeting users by using their favourite players. “Emails are currently circulating about Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, the young star player with the Brazilian national team. The email contains a malicious word document that exploits a known vulnerability in Microsoft Word. Interest in players like Neymar and others like Argentinian national star Lionel Messi are used as the bait by scammers targeting victims, whether through email or social networking services,” said the blog.