The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics finally arrives this month after a year-long delay due to the pandemic. To reduce the risks posed by the COVID-19 variants, the Olympics will take place without spectators. However, Kaspersky advised sports enthusiasts not to forget that cybercriminals will take advantage of the much-awaited event by instigating various online fraud schemes.
Kaspersky Warns the Dangers of Live Streams for Olympic Games
Upon analyzing Olympic-related phishing websites, Kaspersky discovered fake pages offering to stream various Olympic events, selling tickets for competitions that won’t have spectators, multiple giveaways, and even the first counterfeit Olympic Games virtual currency.
Some phishing sites also ask for people to register before watching. In such phishing pages, once users enter their credentials, they might be redirected to a page that distributes different malicious files. Thus, users unknowingly install malware on their devices in addition to sending their identifying information. Scammers, then, can start using the collected data for illegal purposes or sell it on the Dark Web.
For this reason, Kaspersky informs users to be aware of the different Olympic-based phishing pages:
Despite there being no events held with spectators in person this year, fraudsters are not shying away from trying well-tested (yet, somehow still effective) fraud attempts, like selling offline event tickets. Kaspersky experts also discovered pages offering refunds for already purchased tickets.
Analyzing discovered pages, Kaspersky experts also found examples of phishing pages disguised as official Olympic ones, such as a page pretending to be an official website for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a page mimicking the International Olympic Committee. The last one, for instance, collects users’ MS Services credentials.
No big public event is complete without fraudsters imitating extremely generous giveaways. Thus, Kaspersky experts also found phishing pages offering to win a TV, ideal for watching the Olympic Games. This is quite popular and, usually, each user becomes a lucky winner; the chosen ones only need to pay a delivery fee. No need to say, the TV never gets to the deceived user.
Olympic Games Token
Finally, and most importantly, Kaspersky researchers found the first-ever virtual currency, a support fund for Olympic athletes. A fake one. If a user buys the token, the scammers offer to support financially talented athletes worldwide who are in need.
“Cybercriminals always use popular sports events as bait for their attacks. 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,” commented Olga Svistiunova, security expert at Kaspersky.
To protect yourself and your close ones from Olympics-related phishing, Kaspersky experts recommend:
- Сheck the link before clicking. Hover over it to preview the URL and look for misspellings or other irregularities.
- Check the authenticity of websites before entering personal data and only use official web pages to watch the Olympic Games. Double-check URL formats and company name spellings.
Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, that identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing sites.