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Olympics 2016: Sports fans under attacks by cybercriminals

Olympics 2016: Sports fans under attacks by cybercriminals
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Cybercriminals are exploiting the growing Olympic fever as the games in Rio de Janeiro draws closer, targeting sports fans with fake ticket scams, malware-ridden emails and phishing attacks, according to a new Kaspersky Lab report.

The cyber security firm says scammers have been selling fake tickets to the event since early 2015, a year before the games are scheduled to take place.

Most frequent topic of these emails is fake lottery wins for the ticket lottery organised by the International Olympic Committee and the Brazilian government, according to the tech security company.

Spammers are attempting to convince victims that their email address has been chosen randomly from a large list. To receive their prize, the victim must reply to the email and provide personal information.

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”Spam emails are not the only threat faced by users.  Ticketing services are also appearing for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, and these are the most dangerous threat. The Kaspersky Lab team constantly detects and blocks counterfeit domains with «rio», «rio2016» in the title.”[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” arrow=”yes”]Kaspersky Lab team explains that the business model used by fraudsters is fairly simple. On phishing websites users have been asked to provide personal information, including bank account details to pay for the fake Olympic Games tickets. 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.[/quote]

According to the report ”Malicious web pages discovered by Kaspersky have been very well made as fraudsters often buy the cheapest and simplest SLL certificates, which allow secure connections between a web server and a browser and provide “https” at the beginning of the address bar,  this makes it harder for users to distinguish fake pages from the official Olympic ticketing services”.

Kaspersky Lab team explains that the business model used by fraudsters is fairly simple. On phishing websites users have been asked to provide personal information, including bank account details to pay for the fake Olympic Games tickets.

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.

“According to our research, the creation of fake sites usually involves well organized, fraudulent, international gangs. They split tasks, so that each small group is responsible for a separate part of the work.

For example, one group creates websites, the other registers domains, another collects and sells the victims’ personal information, among others.

Andrey Kostin, Senior Web-Content Analyst at Kaspersky Lab says that ”in order to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters, sports fans should be savvy when they buy tickets. They should only trust authorized re sellers, no matter how attractive the low prices from other resources can be”

To make your Internet purchasing safe, Kaspersky Lab recommends not buying anything, from tickets to Olympic souvenirs, on the online stores advertised through spam or suspicious advertising banners. The company also recommends having a separate bank account, and a card with a small amount of money on it, for online payments.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Journalist at Technology Times Media Phone No: 08074016066 e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng

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