The Super Bowl is never lacking in anticipation, drama, and hype. But Super Bowl L has the makings of a record-breaker among record-breakers. When the Denver Broncos burst into Levi’s Stadium, it could very well be the last time that legendary quarterback Peyton Manning takes the field. Across the field, Cam Newton charges on with the Carolina Panthers. Another explosive talent born of the college football powerhouses of the SEC, Cam brings a polarizing personality, incredible stats, and no shortage of talent. TV drama writers can’t even make this stuff up.
Super Bowl 50 and Mobile Threats
But Super Bowl 50 could bring another drama of an entirely different sort: while mobile threats haven’t yet marred this annual matchup of the mightiest, most mobile security experts fear that these threats might be as prominent a player this year as Peyton, Cam, and their fired-up on-field families and foes. Here’s what you need to know before donning your team colors, painting your face, and heading to Santa Clara.
Hackers, like most criminals, strike where the opportunity is greatest and the resistance is the least. In this case, a stadium full of excited people, free Wi-Fi networks, app downloads galore, and devices filled with juicy data are just too much to resist. Add the fact that many of the fans either don’t know about mobile security or won’t be paying one iota of attention to it, and it becomes the hacker’s Field of Dreams.
According to the cyber security gurus at Skycure, hackers will be targeting both mobile devices carried by fans and the networks that those devices have access to. That means that your personal data is at risk, as well as any work networks that the device is used to access. More than 10% of all networks examined by Skycure have been found to pose some type of mobile security threat. These attacks are growing in sophistication and in frequency.
What Hackers are After During Super Bowl Week
Data that is most at risk during Super Bowl includes:
- Your passwords
- Personal and business emails
- Personal and business contact information
- Calendars and scheduled events
- Bank, credit card, and online shopping accounts
- Mobile payment apps
What Hackers Want to Use Your Information and Access For
This data can be used by hackers for a number of purposes, including:
- Creating spoof profiles and accounts to use your identity to steal money, perpetrate scams, or hack into networks
- Stealing data for the purposes of identity theft or hacking
- Using the mobile device to launch botnets for spam or hacking purposes
- Stealing your data to sell on the black market
- Using your login credentials to hack into your work network, banking network, or other networks in which you are an authorized user
- Tracking you for aggressive marketing purposes
When Mobile Devices are Most at Risk During Super Bowl 50
As a general rule, the more people you are around, the higher the chance that somebody is there trying to hack into mobile devices. This means the airport, hotel, and of course, the stadium itself. Your device is also at risk while you visit some of the area’s popular tourist attractions. Golden Gate Park, for instance, is consistently listed as a hotbed for mobile threats. Any time you are using public Wi-Fi, you should be aware that there is a potential for hackers. This also applies to Wi-Fi services you pay for, such as those available at hotels. Additionally, hackers can set up “free Wi-Fi” hotspots or direct traffic off of legitimate hotspots to their own, while the user is unaware that they are not using the venue’s Wi-Fi service. It’s worth noting that nearly 8% of all reported mobile threats occur on networks labeled as “free Wi-Fi”.
How to Keep Your Mobile Devices Secure in Santa Clara and at Levi’s Stadium
You can help protect your mobile device, data, and networks by:
- Avoiding free Wi-Fi whenever possible
- Avoiding downloading apps unless you’re positive the vendor/developer is safe and trustworthy
- Protecting your device(s) with a strong password
- If you notice an app you don’t know or trust downloading on your device, do NOT hit Continue — back out immediately
- Using the Skycure Mobile Threat Defense App
- Tracking active threats as they occur via Twitter: @SkycureSecurity #MobileSecurity #SuperBowl or by visiting the website: https://maps.skycure.com
The mobile security professionals at Skycure will be live Tweeting during Super Bowl 50 to keep you informed of and safe from any unfolding threats. It’s the ideal time to start a free trial of our enterprise edition. With this tool, you can relax and enjoy the game while somebody else looks out for your mobile security for awhile. Have a hot dog for us!