March Madness

March Madness cybercrooks hope to bust more than just your brackets

The first weekend of March Madness is behind us. Is your bracket completely trashed yet? After some upset victories in the early games Ritchie King at calculates that a mere fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the brackets are still perfect. If yours is one of them you might consider buying a Powerball ticket or something to snowball that luck while you can.

Maybe that’s good news, though. Cybercrooks use the insane popularity and demand for up-to-the-second March Madness news as bait for all kinds of phishing scams and malware attacks. With 99.9999 percent of the brackets already busted the fervent interest in all things March Madness will likely wane.

You should probably remain vigilant still. I wrote a blog post about the March Madness threats you need to watch out for:

March Madness has begun for NCAA basketball teams—and for cybercriminals, who are getting ready for some games of their own. The extreme popularity of March Madness makes the event a prime target for phishing scams, malware exploits and other cyber attacks.

Cybercriminals will use any major event or tragedy that has captured the attention of the general public as bait for attacks. The increased interest from users and the dramatic spike in emails, links, and other communications related to the event make it much easier to blend in. The demand for information combined with the massive audience also mean that the odds of an attack’s success are significantly higher.

“Security professionals at businesses of all sizes are preparing for a surge of potential March Madness related cyber-attacks over the next couple of weeks,” said Dan Lohrman, Chief Strategist and CSO at Security Mentor. “This is because nearly every aspect of any employee’s involvement with March Madness could open up the employee, as well as the organization, to new cyber risks.”

Security firm iSheriff posted a list of the top security threats to expect around this major college sports event. Most of the risks involve bogus apps or sites that lure unsuspecting users with promises of March Madness coverage or access.

The biggest March Madness security risks

For instance, “SEO poisoning” causes malware-infected pages to show up when users search online. According to iSheriff, these nastygrams showed up high in the search results from all major search engines.

You can read the full story at PCWorld: March Madness inspires brackets, team spirit, and cyber crime.

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