Hackers will target businesses with Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics scams

By Danny Palmer
06 Feb 2014 View Comments
alpine-sking-at-the-sochi-2014-winter-olympic-games

With the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics about to begin in Russia, cyber criminals are eager to take advantage of the event, to steal sports fans' personal information.

That's according to David Grange, director of operations and client services (EMEA) at web services firm Dyn, who on the day of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, warned businesses to be vigilant against attacks.

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"The spike in interest around the Winter Olympics offers a prime opportunity for cyber criminals targeting users with phishing attacks - and making businesses an easy target," he said.

Grange warned that cyber criminals will attempt to prey on interest in the Winter Olympic Games, masking emails designed to steal information as updates from Sochi.

"More than 144 billion emails are sent every day, with a large portion of those being vital transactional emails sent from businesses across the world. By sending emails pretending to be event updates and insight, cyber criminals capitalise on the widespread interest in the Winter Olympics to inject malware or malicious downloads onto company servers," he said.

According to Grange, the best way to check the authenticity of an email - and secure a business against potential cyber attacks - is through the use of a proper Domain Name System (DNS).

"The only way to know whether the emails in employees' inboxes are coming from a verified sender is to use DNS.

"While traditionally DNS is associated with keeping websites performing fast and preventing downtime, DMARC [Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance ] offers up a new way of authenticating email delivery by using the DNS," Grange continued. 

If the email that arrives does not pass this validation process, the receiver then knows to junk or reject the email, avoiding harmful messages," he said.

"This method eliminates the guesswork and ensures every step along the email delivery chain is secured," Grange concluded.

The London 2012 Olympic Games faced six "major" attacks during the event and it's likely hackers and cyber criminals will also target the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

There's also the threat of attacks by hacktivists protesting against Russia's anti-gay laws, which have received much criticism in the run-up to the games.

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