Cyber-Attacks Anticipated as World Cup Starts

June 16, 2018


Information safety experts are getting ready for the worst as this year’s FIFA World Cup starts. The World Cup of football (a.k.a., soccer in the US) is ready to take center stage in Russia. Although it’s highly expected by football fans and hackers alike, safety experts suppose that some type of cyber-attack will happen on the 2018 FIFA World Cup football network, as per a new survey.

The survey, carried out by Lastline at Infosecurity Europe 2018, found that 72% of safety experts suppose an attack is possible given the fact that attacking high-profile global occasions is trending among cyber-criminals.

Of the experts who suppose an attack, 70% expect that the attack vector will concentrate on network infrastructure with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack or an attempt to upset social media networks. Less than half (44%) suppose that electronic mail correspondence is at risk and just 47% doubt dangers to moveable appliances.

“Cybercriminals don’t exist in a vacuum,” said Andy Norton, director of danger intelligence at Lastline. “They will be conscious of the immense media inspection the World Cup will be under and will be expecting to exploit this and the financial prospects such an exceptional occasion presents.”

The world has seen DDoS attacks at international sporting occasions earlier, as was the case with the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and some dread that these dangers are developing the new standard. “It’s hardly astonishing that more attacks are being predicted for the FIFA World Cup that started two days ago,” said Andrew Lloyd, president of Corero Network Security. “Given existing geopolitics, the football World Cup does present a chance for nation-state–sponsored attacks on political enemies that will make Eurovision tactical voting appear like a playground fight.”

“We note that the opening ceremony is followed by a Russia against Saudi Arabia match that I am certain will pique interest in Iran and somewhere else,” Lloyd continued. “Beyond attacking the FIFA infrastructure, other risk areas with a higher commercial effect include live broadcast streams and extremely profitable in-game betting. These dangers further add to the pressure on digital companies to invest in real-time defenses that automatically find and alleviate attacks letting them remain online and open for business during a cyber-attack.”