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Cyber attacks multiply in run up to the 2012 London Olympics

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Tue, Apr 3rd, 2012

Heading to the 2012 London Olympics? Do you need a ticket?            

Cybercriminals are looking to capitalise on the growing interest and enthusiasm around the Olympic games with several phishing scams which aim to impersonate the Olympics official website or associated partners. The cyber criminals and malware writers know that just about any subject line with the word "Olympic" in it is likely  to be opened by a large proportion of recipients.

Costly consequences of phishing attacks

No global event is more in the public eye at the moment  than the 2012 London Olympic Games.  Many of these scam emails will contain  malicious code  rather than cut price tickets or other Olympic-themed products.  For a company a successful phishing can have far reaching and costly consequences  resulting in financial loss and loss of customer data.  

We have detected and blocked a number of these kinds of Olympic phishing messages whose goal is to entice users to submit their personal information. It is expected that these phishing attacks will grow in number and become more targeted. Spear phishing.

These kinds of attacks will continue to exist as long as it is profitable and with growing numbers of people on the internet spammers have a growing  market of millions of people for their spam. It’s purely a numbers game, the greater the market for the spammers the greater chance of a response and therefore the greater the reward.

To prevent these attacks, organisations need to remain vigilant and follow proven guidelines such as not clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails.

To avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack there are a few simple rules:

  • Don't trust any unsolicited email, ever.
  • Never “unsubscribe” from a service you haven’t subscribed for in the first place. You are literally handing your email address to spammers to use for future and possibly more targeted attacks.
  • If you interested in an offer contacting the company  behind the message by phone and verify that  the message  is genuine.
  • Keep your company security solutions valid and up to date so that you can secure  your organisations network.
  • Employees and other insiders actions are responsible for the majority of security breaches, a culture of security awareness is an important factor in preventing these security failures.

Remember if you receive notice that you’ve won a free Olympic ticket the chances are you haven’t and as always if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!.

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