The Hacking Epidemic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
- Wednesday, 19 February 2014 09:22
~~The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia are in the final stretch. In just a few days, athletes from around the world will be completing their competitions, attending the closing ceremonies, and heading home. But in the meantime, smart phones, computers and tablets in Sochi have been under near constant attack from hackers since before the games began. As NBC Nightly News reported on February 4th, when athletes, support teams, volunteers, reporters, and spectators began arriving in Sochi, Russia in preparation for the games, they found their electronic devices were quickly threatened.
Most people turn on their cell phones when they get off the airplane upon arriving in a new place. When they get to their hotel, they usually fire-up their laptops or tablets. It seems like a very natural thing to do these days, especially when you want to let loved ones and colleagues know you have arrived safely and catch up on any correspondence you might have missed. But as several news stories have warned, hackers are taking advantage of the huge influx of unwitting Olympic visitors to Sochi to gain as much personal information or other sensitive data from the devices that came into the country with their owners. Phones may be tapped wirelessly and hackers can listen into your conversations, and in many cases smart phones automatically downloaded malware that left it open to other types of cyber attacks. The information gleaned by hackers about visitors then might be used by that hacker for theft, or sold to other criminal enterprises for the purposes of identity theft, or even completely hijack a visitors’ computer, tablet or phone to carry out criminal activities.
News sources reporting on the wide-spread hacking in Sochi are reporting that travelers are advised to have no expectation of privacy when they arrive in Sochi. These sources also recommended that travelers remove all sensitive data from smart phones, tablets and computers before leaving home, avoid the public wifi, not use their devices at all, or just leave them at home. Another option might be to buy a new disposable phone once you arrive at your destination for use only in that location.
Whether you traveled to Sochi to enjoy the Winter Olympics, or you are an armchair warrior watching from home, it’s smart to think ahead about computer security here at home and for when you travel. As the example from the Sochi Winter Olympics illustrates, traveling has taken on a new dimension in terms of computer safety and security. At TRA Consulting, let us handle the headache for you. We can advise you on the best way to keep your devices safe for your next business trip or vacation. If you have recently returned from travels, we can help with virus removal and protect your computer, tablet, or phone from future threats. We are serving the Long Beach and Greater Los Angeles areas with computer solutions, training, consulting, and virus removal for individuals, small, and medium-sized businesses
Cyber Attacks on Businesses During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
- Wednesday, 19 February 2014 09:21
~~The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia are winding down and in a few days, athletes and spectators will be attending the closing ceremonies and hoping flights headed home. Many news outlets have warned since before the games started that individuals traveling to Sochi were at great risk for hacking to their computers, tablets, and mobile devices and that information privacy in Russia would be difficult to come by. But other news sources are also warning that businesses are also vulnerable to cyber criminals during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. And the bad news is that you don’t even have to travel outside of your country of origin to be targeted by hackers that are taking advantage of the excitement around the Winter Olympics. Many computer experts are warning businesses to be vigilant against attacks from the start of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, to the closing ceremonies that will take place on Sunday February 23, 2014.
There will be a lot of interest in the games throughout the two and a half weeks they are held and that offers cyber criminals a perfect window of opportunity to target users with phishing attacks by masking emails designed to steal information. These emails are often disguised as updates on the games, sports commentary or other insights about the Winter Games. Hackers will then capitalize on this interest in the Winter Games by using those emails to inject malware, viruses and tracking software, sometimes right onto company servers. Other attacks on computer systems may not have criminal intent, but may be just as difficult to deal with. These would come in the form of cyber attacks from what’s now known as hacktivists. These are activists for social justice issues that use the internet, computers, and hacking to send a message about the social cause they are promoting, but hacktivists can also carry out acts of terrorism in their attempts to express their dissent. And just like the cyber criminals mentioned above, these hacker/activists are attracted to events that garner a lot of public attention because they believe they can get their message out to a wider audience.
At TRA Consulting, a busy IT solutions firm serving the Long Beach, Orange County and the Greater Los Angeles area, we can help you protect your business from phishing scams and other hacking activities by making sure your system is secure from top-to-bottom. We offer computing solutions for server and network security, set-up of email filters and firewalls that will help you and your employees save valuable time by ensuring that your important transactions and communications remain secure and private. One of the newer ways of securing email is to use Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance or DMARC which uses the Domain Name System or DNS to check the authenticity of your emails every step of the way. Contact TRA Consulting today and we can discuss security solutions and logistics for you and your business.
Sochi Olympics IT
- Sunday, 16 February 2014 09:17
The Sochi Olympics Winter Games are an outstanding opportunity to showcase the convergence of IT and sports medicine. I would like to see more IT in the coverage of the games.
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