World Cup connectivity was not without its dangers: Trend Micro

Majority of Indian Football Fans were at Risk of Online World Cup Scams, finds Trend Micro

The 2014 World Cup has just wrapped up in Brazil and Argentina were not the only losers according to security vendor Trend Micro. A recent survey conducted by Trend Micro compared respondents’ level of interest in the big sporting event over a two-week period.


It was found that, in both online and offline activities, a majority (53%) of the respondents were “curious observers”. This fan type is generally more relaxed when dealing with the event but are nonetheless interested to know what it’s all about


“In APAC, the survey found that the most common fan was the “curious observer” meaning many fans in the region are vulnerable to online attacks because of their lack of familiarity with sporting related threats,” said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, India & SEA, Trend Micro.


Observers talk about big controversies, and hot news about athletes or a particular sport. However unlike other sports enthusiasts, they don’t plan to spend a lot of time, effort, and money on what for them is just a passing fancy.


Even as curious observers regard the whole thing casually, they are still likely to encounter and fall for online scams and threats precisely because of their minimal experience in dealing with online and offline scams that usually go with a big sporting event such as the World Cup.


Looking at recent tactics that cybercriminals use, unknowing but curious observers are vulnerable to downloading a fake, SMS-stealing version of the official world cup mobile app or buying fake game tickets that cost almost 4000% higher.


The other types of fans are the “die-hard fans”, the “loyal supporters,” and the “avid social watchers.” The die-hards are generally on board with buying anything that has something to do with the event or their favorite team or doing anything to make sure they’re always the first to know about the latest developments. Loyal supporters root for specific teams and are not afraid to show it, both online and offline. Avid social watchers are not as dedicated to the games or the teams, but still enjoy the event to strengthen social connections.


Trend Micro research found that this overwhelming amount of traffic was not without dangers to consumers, with a number of scams attempted during the event. The danger was due to an increase in the threats designed to take advantage of the global interest, from phishing websites to spam to malicious mobile apps.

Trend Micro released a graph that showed countries affected by the attack. The United States was top of the list with 19 per cent, followed by Japan (14 per cent) and Germany (12 per cent). India was on 10th place with only two per cent affected.

Filed in: Security

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