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Businesses involved with the Commonwealth Games are vulnerable to cyber attacks

Major sporting events are a prime target for cybercrime due to the worldwide attention and visibility they attract.

Commonwealth Games officials expect that cybercriminals will target small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are on the public register as being games’ partners and providers. Businesses that provide construction and maintenance, catering, transport, and accommodation services are prime targets.

The major threats facing these SMEs will include fraud, ransomware and unexpected emails offering promotional items related to the games.

Fraud

Businesses need to be wary of unexpected requests to change or update their banking details with the Commonwealth Games organisation, or resubmit invoices. The email could look legitimate, but it’s just trying to trick you into handing over your banking details to cybercriminals who want to divert money into their accounts.

This type of fraud can also work the other way round—that is, cybercriminals will steal your identity and then try to change your banking details with the games to divert payments.

Ransomware

At previous games, partners and service providers experienced increased ransomware attacks from cybercriminals.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that makes your computer or its files unusable unless you pay a fee. However there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will fix your computer, and it could make you vulnerable to further attacks, as the criminals know you’re prepared to pay up!

The key way to reduce the impact of a ransomware incident is to create regular backups of your important files and maintain offline copies (that are not connected to your network). Learn about how to back up files.

Emails promising promotional items

Be suspicious of unexpected emails offering you promotional items related to the games.

These scam emails work like this:

  • You receive a message that offers you some free promotional material for the games and tries to convince you to do something.
  • You assess the message and decide the offer is legitimate and follow the instructions, which might be clicking a link, opening a file or sending sensitive business information.
  • This could end up with you downloading malware, ransomware or handing over sensitive business details like credit card details.  

How you can protect your business

Be alert for unexpected emails that claim to be from the Commonwealth Games organisation that ask you to do things such as change your details, open a document, or click on a link.

You need to be always checking to see if the email is really from the sender, and phone them directly to confirm it. Don’t use phone numbers or email addresses contained in the email; verify the correct contact details yourself through an online search or phone book.

More information

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