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The World Cup is underway, with at least 1 million fans flocking to Russia to watch their countries compete. However, the top US security agency is warning football fans to be cautious of potential cyber hackers.
The World Cup kicked off with Robbie Williams performing at the opening ceremony on the 14th June. While fans from all over the world who are lucky enough to get tickets to see their country play in Russia are unsurprisingly excited, they are now being warned that they should take certain safety measures before they travel to Russia.
William Evanina, the director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center has warned that visitors could be at risk of cyber-attacks. Russia has a reputation for poor network security from the government and criminals, and it is believed that any visitor to the World Cup is compromised due to how unsecure the location is.
He has urged fans to forgo bringing any devices that aren’t essential. He has also suggested that visitors bring a different phone than normal and remove the battery when not in use, this is because mobile phones can contain very personal information which could be stolen while watching the football. These are called ‘burner devices’ as they are bought for temporary use then thrown away.
It is possible to be hacked through physical access, mobile network access, and most predominant through Wifi. It is recommended that visitors are especially wary of their hotel Wifi and if users must connect to the internet, then they should consider connecting through a VPN to increase their network security.
This warning has not just come from America. Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been said to have given the England team advice on network security ahead of arriving in Russian for the World Cup. It seems like anyone could be targeted at the World Cup this year so make sure to use some common sense if you’re heading over to Russia!
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