The dedicated Symantec division at Workgroup has announced that South Africans should protect themselves against the plethora of Internet attacks likely to hit around the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament.

Mainly focussed on monetary gain, FIFA-related spam is set to grow in the run-up to the event, says Justice Mcebi, product manager: Symantec at Workgroup who adds that, according to Symantec’s monthly spam reports, around 10 percent of all spam in 2008 was fraud-related, such as those advertising fake tickets.
“During the previous FIFA World Cup, related phishing attacks jumped by 40%,” he says. “As many as 4 615 phishing hosts per month were discovered in 2008, which was a rise of 66% over the previous year.
“Symantec’s annual Internet Security Threat Reports have shown the countries introducing pervasive broadband services experience an immediate increase in threats, as cybercriminals take advantage of breaches and vulnerabilities arising from inadequate security.
“This has been identified in countries such as Brazil, Turkey and Poland and South Africa is likely to follow this trend once the new undersea cables have been successfully installed.”
Mcebi says that three basic types of information attributes need to be protected around global events: availability, integrity and confidentiality.
The availability of information, he says, could be compromised through denial-of-service attacks where users are prevented from accessing legitimate Web sites.
These types of attacks are very common around large-scale sporting events, resulting in lost orders for business offering goods and services online. These will probably be focused on, but not limited to, FIFA and World cup-related Web sites and organisations.
“Organisations need to secure the integrity of their information, particularly confidential information provided by users accessing Web sites offering services and products relating to the event,” says Mcebi.
“Hackers will attempt to gain access to valuable information through compromising user accounts, for instance, and can also reach customer information held in databases that run behind the Web sites.”