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Olympic Phishing

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With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, not surprisingly there has been a surge in Olympics-based scams. While most of these are phishing attacks, scammers are also buying up as many domain names with words linked to the games as possible.

Many of the phishing emails claim that the victim has won a lottery involving a trip to the Rio games and typically contain .doc or .pdf attachments that they are then socially engineered to open. There are also phishing links and advertising banners that lure people in with click bait type headlines involving the Zika virus and a recent rape in Rio. Some of these point to videos or claim that the Olympics are going to be moved due to Zika. Sites that claim to have cheap tickets the event are the most effective and emulate a legitimate ticket site in order to steal credit card and personal information.

Essentially everyone needs to be wary of any unsolicited information they receive over the web, in the mail, or over the phone that involves the 2016 Rio Olympics, especially if it involves a lottery, cheap tickets, or eye-catching headlines.

If you are a business, make sure all users are able to recognize social engineering attacks and phishing emails. It’s also a good idea for everyone to be running the latest version of their operating system and that their anti-malware software is up to date. Permanently disable flash on all computers and install ad blockers. Don’t download anything from an email address you don’t recognize and be wary of unexpected emails from well-known brands with attachments.