PSA: The Winter Olympics Means You Need To Get Ready For A Phishing Barrage

Image: International Olympic Committee via Flickr

The Winter Olympics kick off in just a day or so. And while this is a time for everyone to become an expert in figure skating, luge and curling, it's also a major event. And that means threat actors are honing their email skills to prepare new phishing messages and other scams.

Most of the research around phishing attacks concludes that there is a marked seasonality to when large attacks are launched. You can be confident that phishing attacks that have a tax focus will be launched in the middle of the year, or that a bunch of salacious and click-tempting messages will be pushed out when a new celebrity sex tape is released.

Threat actors use our natural curiousity to launch attacks as it increases the odds of someone clicking on a dodgy link or opening a tempting attachment.

The Winter Olympics, being held in the South Korean city of PyeongChang have great potential for controversy. With the North and South Korean teams competing as one it's a good bet there will be some controversy, either confected by a hungry news cycle or because something genuinely newsworthy happens. Given the political nature of such an event, it's likely we'll see online crooks try to exploit the event in order to trick folks into visiting unsecured sites or opening infected attachments.

This is a good time to launch a mini-education campaign, warning users of how email attacks work and how they use current events to try and fool us. And, if you've been a little slack on keeping security software and systems updated, both at end-points or at your borders, now is a good time to remediate those issues.


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