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Major sporting events a ‘prime target’ for cybercriminals, federal centre warns

Written by on May 31, 2024

OTTAWA — Canadian officials warn that major international sporting events are prime targets for cybercriminals and hacktivists looking to fatten their wallets, promote their causes or pilfer secrets.

A new bulletin from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security says criminals operating online will very likely try to extort organizations involved in — or located near — major sporting events.

It says they may also try to ensnare individuals, including spectators, through phishing emails and malicious websites.

The bulletin issued today notes an incident in which the email account of the managing director of a Premier League soccer club was compromised via a phishing email.

It says major sporting events provide an opportunity for hacktivists to widely promote their causes through website defacements, denial-of-service attacks and hack-and-leak operations.

The centre warns that state-sponsored cyberthreat actors could also target high-profile individuals and organizations involved in events with the aim of collecting sensitive information or gathering foreign intelligence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2024.

The Canadian Press