Dig­i­tal Safety@ Win­ter Olympics & Par­a­lympics

Hack­ers are ex­pected to play their own games at the South Korean Olympics

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - By Ja­son Hart, VP and CTO for data pro­tec­tion, Ge­malto

Next month Pyeongchang in South Korea is set to host “the most con­nected Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games” to date, with mil­lions of peo­ple bring­ing con­nected de­vices to the city. Not to men­tion the first “5G tech­nol­ogy vil­lage” in a se­cluded town within the re­gion, which will give trav­el­ing fans the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence next-gen in­no­va­tions such drone ex­pe­ri­ence ser­vices and holo­grams.

How­ever, with mass events like the Win­ter Games there is al­ways one eye on se­cu­rity, and while phys­i­cal se­cu­rity is al­ways on the agenda, the threat to for­eign dig­ni­taries and sports stars from cy­ber ac­tors are now right­fully high on ev­ery­one’s radar too. But while of­fi­cial teams may be ar­riv­ing with se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als and ad­vice on hand, there is still very real threat to trav­el­ing Win­ter Games-go­ers who may be un­aware of loom­ing dan­gers posed to them from op­por­tunis­tic hack­ers on­line.

The big­gest threat to Win­ter Games-go­ers

Whilst it might seem nat­u­ral to slalom from free Wi-Fi to free Wi-Fi as you move about a new city, there are hid­den dan­gers. And un­for­tu­nately, for bud­ding trav­el­ers, the big­gest mis­take they can make when ar­riv­ing in a new city is to au­to­mat­i­cally look for, and con­nect to, the first and near­est free Wi-Fi. Pub­lic or free Wi-Fi is low hang­ing fruit for hack­ers and a gate­way to con­sumer de­vices, data, and per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. What’s more, hack­ers can use trusted net­works to spoof or create fake Wi-Fi for un­sus­pect­ing trav­el­ers to con­nect to.

If pos­si­ble, only use Wi-Fi if its pass­word pro­tected and even then, re­mem­ber to re­main vig­i­lant and

cau­tious as you’re log­ging on to a net­work thou­sands of oth­ers could also be ac­cess­ing. So, whether you’ve just touched down in the air­port, are drink­ing a beer in a lo­cal pub or chill­ing in your ho­tel, it’s best to think twice be­fore con­nect­ing.

A hot­bed for hack­ers

It’s not just con­sumers that are tar­geted at th­ese types of events ei­ther. Em­ploy­ees from spon­sors and other par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies head­ing to Pyeongchang are likely to be sought af­ter for the valu­able busi­ness in­for­ma­tion on their de­vices. This could be in­for­ma­tion about po­ten­tial up­com­ing deals, the lo­ca­tion of im­por­tant in­di­vid­u­als or de­tails about events that could give some­one an ad­van­tage.

What’s more, many dif­fer­ent broad­cast­ers from around the world will be de­scend­ing on the Win­ter Games to show the events to bil­lions of peo­ple across the globe, they are also in­sights of hack­ers, as they look to dis­rupt live stream­ing of the events that take place. If you work in this in­dus­try, to en­sure no dis­rup­tion oc­curs, ev­ery event will need to be en­crypted as the stream trav­els and de­crypted to be shown live. Any com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween mul­ti­ple data cen­ters will also need to be en­crypted to en­sure th­ese high­value trans­mis­sions are pro­tected.

Even or­ga­ni­za­tions in­form­ing teams, news agen­cies and me­dia sites with race times and win­ners from the events, are un­der threat. The ac­cu­racy of the in­for­ma­tion at th­ese types of events is vital, but only if it is trusted. So, what if hack­ers got their hands on the drug test re­sults of ath­letes and changed it from neg­a­tive to pos­i­tive? We’re al­ready start­ing to see this hap­pen with claims by the “Fancy Bears’ Hack Team” of wide­spread TUE ap­provals, missed anti- dop­ing tests, af­ter its at­tack on the In­ter­na­tional Luge Foun­da­tion. If this were to hap­pen and the in­for­ma­tion re­leased dur­ing the Games, the fall­out could be huge.

Don’t be frozen out by hack­ers

In or­der to pro­tect your­self whether you’re out there for work or plea­sure, you need to fol­low the below tips:

1. Avoid free Wi-Fi net­works, which don’t have the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions, where pos­si­ble.

2. Don’t use Blue­tooth, it’s an av­enue that can be used to gain ac­cess to your mo­bile de­vice.

3. Create a new email ac­count just for the du­ra­tion of your stay in Pyeongchang. Avoid send­ing any im­por­tant mes­sages, though.

4. Have a new dig­i­tal iden­tity on the in­ter­net for the du­ra­tion of your stay, but don’t as­so­ciate with iden­ti­ties that you use nor­mally and en­sure your “tem­po­rary iden­tity” you’ve cre­ated is com­pletely sep­a­rate from your real iden­tity and can’t be linked.

5. Ac­ti­vate the two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion ser­vices that sites like Face­book and Twit­ter have to of­fer. It en­ables that ex­tra layer of se­cu­rity and en­sures only you can ac­cess your ac­counts.

6. If you can, use a Vir­tual Pri­vate Net­work, which en­crypts all your in­for­ma­tion so it can’t be ac­cessed by an unau­tho­rized per­son.

7. If you need to search for any­thing on­line, try to use a pub­lic de­vice in your ho­tel or when near an event build­ing. Don’t check into per­sonal email ac­counts or bank ac­counts on th­ese de­vices though!

8. Make sure your soft­ware, op­er­at­ing sys­tem, and se­cu­rity tools are all up to date. Th­ese fea­ture the lat­est se­cu­rity pro­to­cols and will pro­tect your de­vices from vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties.

9. Only use de­vices and in­fra­struc­ture that em­ploy the lat­est se­cu­rity tech­niques like en­cryp­tion and two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion to pro­tect the in­tegrity of your data.

JA­SON HART, VP and CTO for data pro­tec­tion, Ge­malto

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