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Why watching international sporting events like the Olympics and Euro 2024 should make you “extra” cautious online

In the ever-expanding digital landscape, global sports events have unwittingly become prime targets for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities and wreak havoc. With prestigious tournaments like the Paris Olympics and Euro Cup 2024 on the horizon, the stakes are higher than ever for both organizers and spectators alike.

A recent blog post by Check Point Research sounded the alarm, revealing a staggering twenty-fold increase in cyberattacks on sporting events from 2012 to 2021, culminating in a staggering 4.4 billion attacks during the Tokyo Games alone. The 2022 World Cup also fell victim to a deluge of phishing emails, signaling a concerning trend that shows no signs of abating.

Why are global sports events considered such lucrative targets for cyber mischief? The answer lies in the immense financial stakes involved, providing cybercriminals with ample opportunity to exploit the fervent engagement of fans through sophisticated phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks. From banking details to personal information and even event tickets, no facet of the sports ecosystem is immune to their nefarious schemes.

Take, for instance, the 2022 Qatar World Cup, where scams related to sports betting and last-minute ticket sales ran rampant. The advent of digital transformation within sports venues has only exacerbated these vulnerabilities, as interconnected networks and devices present an enticing playground for hackers to ply their trade.

So, how exactly do these cyber assailants breach systems with such impunity? By meticulously scouring for weaknesses, they infiltrate networks, deploy malware, and pilfer data from point-of-sale systems, leaving chaos in their wake. Moreover, they exploit the intricate supply chains forged by sports organizations, preying on vulnerabilities within the network of vendors and collaborators.

In the face of such a formidable adversary, vigilance is paramount. Beyond implementing robust cybersecurity measures, the onus falls on the sports industry to prioritize user awareness. By educating stakeholders about the ever-evolving threat landscape and promoting best practices for digital hygiene, we can collectively fortify our defenses and safeguard the integrity of global sports events for generations to come.

Sadhna B

Sadhna B

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