Cybercriminals often use popular sports events as bait for their attacks.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

July 23, 2021

8 Slides

As if dealing with COVID-19 weren’t bad enough, the Tokyo Summer Olympics also has to contend with cyber threats targeting the event.

News broke this week of a cyberattack. Malicious hackers have stolen and leaked online the usernames and passwords of Olympic and Paralympic game ticket holders and volunteers.

The FBI is warning entities associated with the Olympics that cyber actors who wish to disrupt the event could use distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware, social engineering, phishing campaigns or insider threats to block or disrupt live broadcasts of the event. They could also steal, and possibly hack and leak or hold hostage sensitive data, or impact public or private digital infrastructure supporting the games.

Sports Enthusiasts Beware

Kaspersky researchers urge sports enthusiasts not to forget that cybercriminals will likely take advantage of fans’ eagerness to watch the games by instigating various online fraud schemes. They found fake pages offering to stream various Olympic events and selling tickets for competitions that won’t have spectators. In addition, they found various giveaways, and even the first fake Olympic Games virtual currency.

Olga Svistiunova is a security expert at Kaspersky.


Kaspersky’s Olga Svistiunova

“Cybercriminals always use popular sports events as bait for their attacks,” she said. “This year, the Olympics will be held without spectators; thus, we do not expect a big number of related attacks. Still, we observe that fraudsters have no limit when it comes to creating new ways to take advantage. For example, this year we discovered an interesting phishing page selling [an] Olympic Games Official Token. There is no real equivalent of such thing. That means that cybercriminals are not only faking already existing baits, but also come up with their own new sophisticated ideas.”

Peruse our slideshow above for more on Olympics cyber threats and more cybersecurity news.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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