Euro 2016 Fans Hit Hard by Cyber Threats

Euro 2016 Fans Hit Hard by Cyber Threats

The cyber-risk for digitally active sports fans has more than doubled during the 2016 Euro soccer tournament.

According to the Allot Communications and Kaspersky Lab’s MobileTrends Q2 2016 report, mobile has changed the way we experience sporting events as fans flock to the digital arena to watch, record and share their reactions. Seventeen percent of mobile users who exhibited little or no use of sports apps or websites before the games became active sports fans during the games.

However, cyber-criminals are taking advantage of this to trick sports fans into downloading infected apps or clicking malicious links. Nearly 50% of these “casual fans” transitioned into sports fans’ behavior profiles, with high potential risk for malware.

"Cyber-criminals often use big events to lure users with phishing emails and fake websites, exposing fans to intensified and new potential cyber risks. Users should be aware of potential threats and lookout when clicking on links, entering their credentials on websites or making financial transactions,” noted Alexander Karpitsky, head of technology licensing, Kaspersky Lab. “We at Kaspersky Lab recommend sports fans take a proactive approach to their online security, especially when mobile, safeguarding their devices with IT security solutions at all times.”

The total number of mobile sports fans at high risk for cyber-threats more than doubled during the games. And, increases in online sports betting and social networking are major contributors to increased cybersecurity risk. Combining the two issues, the number of mobile sports fans accessing betting sites more than doubled during the tournament’s matches. Before the matches, one in nine users visited sports betting sites. During the matches, one in four visited sports betting sites.

Also, during matches, the average time users spent on social media apps or sites tripled over their pre-tournament activity.

With the Olympics just over a month away, this is a trend that’s unlikely to shift anytime soon.

“As sports fans are going mobile and devices are used widely for watching, recording and sharing experiences, users must protect themselves online, and CSPs are in the best position to deliver these value added services to subscribers,” said Yaniv Sulkes, AVP marketing at Allot Communications. “Since major sports events are shown to be times of high risk for mobile users, it’s also when mobile service providers have an opportunity to educate customers regarding malware risks and to offer network-based security services to protect mobile devices. With Rio 2016 Summer Olympics on the horizon, mobile operators who adopt a proactive cyber-protection strategy for their customers will be able to leverage monetization opportunities.”

Photo © Maxisport

Source: Information Security Magazine