While those in Rio De Janeiro will have their eyes on this year’s summer Olympics, experts warn that hackers have their sights set on taking advantage of the Olympic organization, multinationals, and fans.
"The Olympics attracts a lot of people," Thomas Fischer, principal threat researcher at Digital Guardian, told Fast Company. "That’s a prime target for attackers to look at as far as, 'how can we get them to give us some money?'"
Though hackers are expected to target the more than 500,000 visitors traveling to Rio for the Games, the numerous multinational companies partnering with the International Olympic Committee are also at risk.
Earlier this year, security researcher Kaspersky Lab warned that hackers will most likely take to email phishing attacks as well as scammers selling tickets in order to take advantage of Olympics fans.
"On phishing websites users have been asked to provide personal information—including bank account details—to pay for the fake Olympic Games tickets," the company stated. "After extracting this information, criminals use it to steal money from victim bank accounts. To sound even more convincing, fraudsters are informing their victims that they will receive their tickets two or three weeks before the actual event."
Another report released by cybersecurity research firm Fortinet shed light on the rise in suspicious websites in Brazil that have surfaced. Security experts warn that spectators both in Rio and around the globe should be careful of fraudulent emails and social media posts that could link to video clips, downloadable apps, games and other content that actually contain malware.
One of the biggest vulnerabilities may be found in the Wi-Fi access points fans attending the Games may use to stay connected.
Criminals are using counterfeit hotspots that are actually designed to log activity and data of users, which could include usernames and passwords that are unencrypted, Fast Company reported. These rogue Wi-Fi connections may also inject malware into a user’s web traffic.
Kaspersky Lab ran a study last month of more than 4,500 unique wireless access points around Rio, and it found nearly a quarter of them to be vulnerable or insecure.