Top athletes and cybercriminals are all preparing to find gold in Rio. Even before the festivities have begun, Skycure has issued a Rio travel advisory based on detecting numerous security incidents targeted at unsuspecting tourists. Expect the 2016 Summer Games to exceed the 2014 World Cup (also in Brazil), which saw almost 90,000 attacks in a 30-day period according to cybersecurity firm, Cytegic.
Network exploits are very popular, with hackers setting up malicious WiFi networks for tourists to connect to. Numerous security incidents have been detected on many of the WiFi networks that tourists are likely to join, including in one of Rio’s most popular shopping malls, well-known coffee shop and hotel brands, and even the Rio Galeão Airport where most tourists will first set foot in the country. Connecting to one of these networks could lead to getting your personal information and passwords stolen. A safety tip is to avoid WiFi with the word “Free” in the name, since that is a common strategy for luring people to connect. A few of the popular locations with suspicious WiFi hotspots include:
- Rio Galeão Airport – many networks that decrypt SSL traffic
- Rio Sul – Popular shopping mall with multiple risky networks, including at Starbucks
- Various hotels – Hotels often have misconfigured or malicious WiFi that will decrypt traffic
In addition to WiFi networks, hackers have been busy creating malicious apps, also designed to steal your information and take control of your mobile device. A popular strategy is to create a malicious app that masquerades as a legitimate Olympics app, such as the app called “Rio 2016”. Several repackaged variations of this app have appeared and there are many others with names like “Olympics Rio 2016”, “Rio 2016 Olympics”, etc. In each case the hacker has repackaged the app with additional code that you may never notice, but will deliver excessive ads or take over your device and steal your personal information.
Here are some tips to avoid these hazards and stay safe while traveling:
- Avoid connecting to WiFi networks with the word “Free” in its name
- Always check the name of the WiFi network your device is connected to and disconnect if the network is out of context, e.g. If you are not at the airport, do not connect to Rio Galeao Wifi. Mobile devices automatically join “known” WiFi networks without any user intervention.
- Check for top mobile threats in any destination by visiting https://maps.skycure.com
- Only download mobile apps from reputable app stores such as the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.
- Read the warnings on your device and don’t click “Continue” if you don’t understand the exposure.
- Update your device to the most current operating system.
- Disconnect from the network if your phone behaves strangely (e.g. frequent crashes) or you receive a warning notification.
- Protect your device with a free mobile security app like Skycure.
Download the free mobile threat defense app from Skycure, which detects and alerts you on mobile attacks, suspicious networks, and malware. To download Skycure, go to: https://apps.skycure.com on your iOS or Android device, or go to the App Store or Google Play store and search for “Skycure”.
See full size Mobile Travel Advisory here: