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News

Cyber attack warning on Olympic games

MXSweep : 29 April, 2009  (Technical Article)
The 2012 Olympic Games in London are seen as a target for cyber criminals targeting the event itself and associated businesses
Ahead of his speech at this year's Infosecurity Europe exhibition, David Blunkett has warned that the 2012 Olympic Games could suffer a severe "cyber attack" unless action is taken now. While government should take the lead, Blunkett believes that the way to beat the hackers is to work closely with both business and security providers. The former home secretary argues that the UK should use the London Olympics as a rallying point to set the standard for tackling national cyber security. If action is not taken, organisers can expect to suffer complete meltdown of systems, as well as unauthorised access to data through sophisticated hacking. Blunkett has claimed the threat is so severe "we need to put cyber alongside chemical, biological and radiological threats."

MXSweep agrees that cyber criminals will always look to use big events like the 2012 Olympics to their advantage. Edward Grant, MD at MXSweep argues while organisers need to be aware of the threats that they will face, businesses and the general public should also be vigilant as to how this issue could affect their IT systems, "At MXSweep we welcome Mr Blunkett's warning and the assertion that people in both the public and private sectors need to be more aware of the threats we face. However, we do feel that while discussing the threats that hackers present, Mr Blunkett has neglected to address another serious threat that targets indiscriminately and will increase significantly as the 2012 Olympics approaches."

Grant continued, "Spammers and phishers will be looking to use the event as a key part of spamming campaigns in the run up to 2012. We expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of unsolicited emails which specifically mention the Games in the subject line. In addition, users purchasing tickets or merchandise online will need to be particularly vigilant to ensure that card details and other sensitive information is not stolen in phishing scams. As Mr Blunkett has already stated, a joined-up approach to tackling the threat is essential. In addition, we would call for all internet users to be aware 24/7 of their ongoing responsibilities for identifying and reducing incidents of cyber crime."
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