June 14, 2018 at
Soccer fans might be in danger of being hacked on their trips to Russia, according to the British and US intelligence officials. According to these two countries’ governments, there is a real danger of cyberspies in Russia, and those traveling there for the World Cup might have their devices hacked for information.
Travelers might get hacked in Russia
US National Counterintelligence and Security Center’s director, William Evanina stated yesterday that this year’s World Cup might pose an additional danger for soccer fans traveling to Russia. According to him, there is a real possibility of fans being hacked by this country’s cybercriminals, as well as spies working for the Russian government. Even those with no connections to any research, government branch, or any other important project or institution are likely to become targets, claims Evanina.
In his statement, he said that those planning to take their laptops, smartphones, or any other electronic device should be wary of cyber attacks. Their data, especially personal information stored on these devices, might be accessed by hackers working for the government, as well as by those who are regular cybercriminals.
Evanina leads the agency that has a task of assessing and countering various threats to the US when it comes to cyberespionage. According to him, the best way to combat this issue is to simply leave all unnecessary electronics at home, and travel without them. As for the devices that are necessary, they should be deactivated, and have their batteries removed whenever they are not being used.
The most likely targets would, of course, be those in possession of valuable secrets, like government officials, or high-ranking officials of large corporations. However, that doesn’t mean that regular citizens are safe, despite their lack of connection to some large company, project, or government.
The British agencies fear the same
According to another unnamed US official, the British security agencies share in these fears and have issued the same warnings to their own citizens. The same goes for the English soccer team, which will be competing in the World Cup. The British even went one step ahead, and have offered cybersecurity advice to their Football Association before they left for Russia.
The same warning to the public came from London’s electronic eavesdropping agency, which is a branch of the Government Communications Headquarters of Britain. Patrick Wardle, who is a private cybersecurity expert, said that the country issued a really good advice and that it should be followed whenever someone is making a trip to Russia.
He also stated that he always uses ‘burner’ devices when traveling to Russia, which can be bought and used temporarily, and then safely discarded.
Warnings like these ones have become a regular occurrence for most sporting events of this size. Similar ones were issued by the US government before South Korea’s Winter Olympics, only because the event took place in the vicinity of the country’s border with North Korea.