'Digital Rio' is open season for Cyber baddies

  • They are calling this, the 'Mobile Olympic Games' -- but watch out for Net baddies

The organisers of Rio 21016  are calling it the Mobile Olympic Games. They have partnered with all of the big social media platforms. The social conversation, they claim  is  overwhelmingly on  cell phones. The  official  website is https://www.rio2016.com/en and you can turn here for comprehensive coverage of the events.  Phone owners can download  the mobile app ( iOS, Android or WindowsPhone)   which can be found on the same site    The last Olympics in London, 2012   saw 1.6 million followers on Facebook.  At Rio, they got 1 million followers  one Day One alone and  now  have 3.1 million followers.   Such numbers  have attracted Net baddies like a magnet and already stories of  cyber scams targeting   naive  seekers of  Olympics-related freeware, are piling up.   Cyber criminals  wait  for the huge increase in  online traffic  to trap sports fans with malware like  Trojans,  Ransomware,  Botnet, Pishing etc. The brief 'window of opportunity'  sees them working overtime.    Brazil, the host country  is the second-largest cybercrime generator in the world and ranks  No. 1 in  South  America as both a source and target of online attacks.     Net security specialist e-Scan, has compiled some useful  hints to survive such cyber onslaughts:

Cyber -crooks  will  rely  on social engineering techniques to lure Olympic lovers into clicking on links or giving their account credentials. The email recipients would presume the email to be genuine, unknowingly download  Ransomware by opening the file sent by the cyber crooks or  a malicious website.  Ransomware may also be delivered via drive-by download attacks on compromised websites. Drive-by-download are malicious pieces of a programme that is downloaded to a computer without the users' consent or knowledge. The malware delivered by drive-by download is usually classified as a Trojan horse, because it deceives the user about the nature of the website or email. Wily culprits   will also deploy  Botnets to deceive the users into falling prey. Botnet allows hackers to take control of many computers at the same time and turn them into zombies or bots. The word Botnet is coined from two words 'robot' and 'network'. These are used to infect large number of PCs, which are often controlled through a server.  Cyber-criminals see  golden opportunities in the 2016 Olympic Games to launch Phishing attacks.  Phishing is an attempt by an individual or group to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques. Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These e-mails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take them to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate. The user then may be asked to provide personal information, such as account usernames and passwords that can further expose them to future compromises. With the high demand for Olympic Games, criminals have sensed this opportunity to create many fake websites by registering such domain names containing "rio" and "rio2016". There is an underground market for  Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificates, which ensure a secure connection between a server and a web browser helps the sites look legitimate.

The solution is use a trustworthy Anti-Virus and Anti-spyware tool  on regular basis, which will protect your system from all kinds of Malware attacks. Always download apps from their official website or Google Play Store instead of unknown sources because many apps store are still offering the app. Download applications of a reliable app developer. In addition, check the user ratings and reviews of the app before download.

Some  more 'don'ts'   to remain  safe rather than sorry  over the next two weeks  are being disseminated by  the US Department of Homeland Security, asking  Net surfers to "Stop.Think.Connect.":

  ► When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email and online posts are often  used by cybercriminals to compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious – even if you know the source – it’s best to delete or mark it as “junk email.”

  ► There will be many companies running campaigns during the Olympics, asking you to sign up to get the latest news or participate in a free giveaway. Do not use a password on these sites that you use anywhere else. Don't download videos, recaps or other files from unauthorized sites.  Stick to the   official Olympics site we have listed above  -- or a trusted Indian site you have used   before.

► There is no  fool proof way to surf the Internet, but a little care and caution  will ensure that you survive the Olympian assaults that  will inevitably be made by Internet  criminals  at a time like this.

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