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So how is your Olympics online experience so far?
We’re down to the last stretch of the Summer Games, and if you have managed to stay malware-free and kept your online credentials intact, then you deserve a gold medal of your own.
For months we have been warning you to expect a surge of scams and other online threats as the event draws near. And while this warning still held true, the more, shall we say, interesting ones popped out after the torch has been lit and the games are already in full swing.
Sure, the Olympic lottery scammers made a last ditch effort in sending out emails. Yes, there was that bogus ticketing site. But we’ve been warned about such scams before, haven’t we? The London 2012 official site even has an 11-page document that lists all scams they have documented.
When the Olympic events started, however, it seemed that the cybercriminals got more creative. Dissatisfied with your local TV station’s (sometimes delayed) coverage? There’re illegal TV cards and fake livestream sites to tempt you.
In short, these bad guys went social. And it makes sense because London 2012 is being touted (and debated upon) as the “most social” and the first “real-time” Olympics. It is the first Olympiad to ever fully take advantage of social media—just look at the millions of followers listed in the official site, or the reported 40 million Olympic-related tweets to date. If those are not proof enough, then let us refer you to the stories of athletes being sent home for racist tweets, and of spectators clogging the networks that affected a cycling race.
London 2012 is also the first Olympics that is indeed available to be streamed online. And while it is impossible to watch all 3,500 hours worth of live coverage, there’s an official mobile app that will update you with the latest results. (That is, if the Olympians themselves do not tweet them first.)
For cybercriminals, “going social” means threats may reach a wider audience. In our Race to Security portal, majority (49%) of the visitors who took our Olympics personality quiz are just “curious observers”—those who are the least invested in major sporting events, but may follow a topic just because everyone is talking about it. Among the things we warn curious observers about are bogus search results and scammy social media posts. The latest threats we’ve seen to take advantage of the Olympics fit these descriptions.
A Couple of Gold Medal Tips
- Care about what you share. As the saying goes, “what you say can be used against you.” The same goes with what you share or post in Facebook or Twitter. We’ve seen bad links using trending topics or spambots replying automatically to tweets that contain certain keywords. Always think before you click these links.
Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security has a built-in social networking security that lets you know if a link posted on sites like Twitter and Facebook are safe or malicious.
- Go straight to trusted information sources. Bookmark trusted sites or download official apps that will keep you up-to-date with the latest information.
Get more tips, advice, and alerts on Internet security, just “like” Trend Micro Fearless Web Internet Security on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fearlessweb.