Phishing, football and frauds: 15 ways to safeguard yourself during the World Cup

I just returned from Brazil where the anticipation around the 2014 FIFA World Cup was astounding. Even though Brazil has won the Word Cup several times, this is the first year they've hosted since 1950. As with many countries where soccer ("football") inspires nationalistic pride, promotes escapism or more simply provides the zenith of sports entertainment, most Brazilians have an insatiable hunger. The media, event sponsors and retailers are more than happy to overindulge their appetites. From clothing and restaurants to television and Internet the World Cup is everywhere.

[Experts warn of Russian spying, hackers at Sochi Olympics]

The Phishing Landscape

Understanding the proclivities of these fans gives criminals an advantage. The World Cup provides a window of opportunity and a tremendous vehicle for online fraud such as phishing. Not only do the targets accept that they will receive a barrage of World Cup-related solicitations, but they often desire said solicitations and are excited to "click." This "perfect storm" isn't specific to the World Cup. Phishing scams are often associated with current events such as:

  • Entertainment in the form of movie trailers, awards and celebrity photos
  • Sporting events with large, preferably global audiences
  • Natural disasters, political elections and military actions
  • Viral videos of animals seeing themselves in mirrors

Unfortunately for the targets of phishing, the fraudsters have nefarious ulterior motives. The fraudsters may be interested in identity theft, stealing credentials, stealing financial information, or locking your system and holding it for ransom. Or maybe the fraudsters just want to add your device to their botnet army to be controlled at will. Regardless of their motive, you have something they want. The results of phishing can impact individuals and organizations including depleted bank accounts, credit debt, sensitive/personal data theft, countless hours of negotiation with financial institutions, stress, and the list goes on.

The risks to the criminals are low. This is because the likelihood of being apprehended and the severity of the punishment for phishing -- and most cybercrimes, depending on the country -- are low. Thus legal deterrence is ineffective. Additionally, the complexities of international law and extradition means that criminals can reside and operate in cybercrime-friendly countries, much like pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries that stimulated the economy in Jamaica and provided protection from the Spanish in exchange for a safe haven.

Phishing Safeguards

While there is no anti-phishing panacea that will mitigate all threats, there are technical and non-technical controls that can reduce the risk of a phishing attack being successful. Here are 15 safeguards to consider.

[Slideshow: How to spot a phishing email]

With events like the World Cup where information is flooding our laptops, tablets and smartphones from all directions, it is important not to get so caught up in the moment that we forget the criminals are working overtime. By considering these 15 safeguards and successfully mitigating phishing attacks, you're negatively impacting the criminal revenue stream and making this type of fraud less appealing.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityBrazilworld cupphishingsocial engineeringfraud

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Brian Contos

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts