With just one week to go until the Opening Ceremony, London is buzzing! The summer Olympics in London offer an incredible opportunity for athletes, spectators and whole nations to come together in celebration of sporting achievement. Unfortunately, the London 2012 Games will also offer a unique opportunity for criminals to defraud large numbers of people. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it was reported that China suffered 12 million online attacks per day, and officials at this summer’s London Olympics have already reported 124 known scams that have targeted millions of consumers. In the past four months, fraudulent activity targeting smartphones has increased by 800% in the UK, which has been linked to the fast-approaching Olympic Games. Smartphones offer a new, easily targeted and particularly vulnerable chink in the armour of cyber security.
Cyber attacks can take many forms, and the following will be the key vulnerabilities during the London 2012 Olympics:
- Hackers taking advantage of the large number of tourists logging into Hot Spots (including the newly installed Wi-Fi in some London Underground stations) which require personal information to access
- Hactivism against Olympic sponsors and partners
- Scam and phishing emails that will use Olympics-related news as a cover
- Attacks on companies who are not associated with the Olympics, taking advantage of attention being focussed elsewhere
- Additionally, the theft of cables could have potentially devastating consequences on the running of the Games and threaten business continuity for many UK organisations.
Take extra care in the coming months to protect your personal and organisational cyber security: make sure your passwords are not repeated across multiple sites and access points, inform and educate employees on safe cyber practices, and be vigilant!