FIFA World Cup: A Threat to Yor PC?

(some of the following content is taken from a press release at Sunbelt Software)

I am not a big fan of soccer, but this year’s world cup in South Africa could impact your PC’s security at work and at home. How so?

According to some experts, since most of the games will be played when a majority of folks are working (depending on where you live), the temptation to watch it while at work, or trying to get information on the games may lead some to  largely unknown and untrusted websites in search of footage, exposing work-based computers to an increased virus threat, phishing attacks and malware embedded in web pages, banner advertising and fake video streaming codec downloads.

The same could happen with your home PC as well, and not just with sites claiming to have FIFA World Cup information. A couple of things to watch out for:

  • Infection files distributed via World Cup spam
    As in any prominent event, email users should be cautious when opening messages with attachments claiming to be related to the World Cup. In all probability, the attachment will be an infection file that could do serious damage to your PC or network. Typical themes we expect to see in these spam messages would be “Free tickets”, “match list”, “watch online” and “tickets refund” – all of which are designed to lure the victim into opening up the attachment.
  • Social Networking Scams
    We would expect to see malicious links on Twitter, fake applications on Facebook and other kinds of dubious behaviour on the more popular websites. If someone asks you to try out a program on Facebook, don’t be afraid to Google it first and see if it’s a legitimate application or not.
  • Website defacements
    It’s a sad fact that when a big event takes place, websites related to the event are under threat of attack. While many of these attacks are simple webpage defacements, sometimes attackers may try to use the compromised websites to install malicious software onto your PC.

Always ensure your security software is up to date and your version of Windows is fully patched, as there is a wealth of programs available that would-be hijackers can use to infect PCs with ease.

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