Researchers spot spike in phishing attacks leveraging 2016 Rio Olympics

Kaspersky Lab researchers spot increase in 2016 Rio Olympic scams, span and phishing attacks.
Kaspersky Lab researchers spot increase in 2016 Rio Olympic scams, span and phishing attacks.

Kaspersky Lab researchers spotted a spike in phishing attacks, email scams and spam messages that mimic branding from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  

Researchers Tatyana Shcherbakova and Andrey Kostin said threat actors are registering domains with names containing words such as “rio”and “rio2016” and purchasing cheap SSL certificates to make their phony sites look more credible, according to a May 16 Securelist post.

Cyber crooks have also sent fake emails claiming users had won lotteries and false advertisements for televisions and other products including magic pills that promise to make the recipient an “Olympic champion,” the post said.

Kostin told SCMagazine.com via emailed comments there are a number of ways that victim's are targeted in these attacks.

“Users may receive a phishing or malicious email, they might click a phishing link or advertising banner, or they might using a search tool and choose a fake website selling tickets, for example,”Kostin said.

He said the most effective scams were conducted using phishing websites that emulate ticket sale services.

“Phishers can steal confidential banking card data and as a result, all money from the accounts associated with that card,” he said. “Also there are scams containing malware that can harm a user's computer, turning it into a botnet or stealing a user's personal data for example.”

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