The World Cup could become a hot bed for espionage
This year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar is gearing up to be a hot spot for governments spying on their adversaries, researchers and officials cautioned this week.
Driving the news: Cybersecurity firm Recorded Future released a report Thursday warning that state-sponsored hacking groups are likely to see the World Cup as "target-rich environment" for spying on foreign dignitaries and businesspeople.
- European data protection regulators have been advising their constituents against downloading Qatar's World Cup apps due to surveillance and national security concerns.
- German authorities said one of the apps "collects data on whether and with which number a telephone call is made," Politico reports.
The big picture: International sports event have become a hotbed for cyber espionage campaigns, putting governments on high alert for unwelcome surveillance.
- The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee advised Team USA to use burner phones while in Beijing for this year's Winter Olympics due to similar concerns, per the Wall Street Journal.
Between the lines: Recorded Future's researchers said digital spies tied to China and Iran are the most likely to carry out espionage campaigns targeting the tournament.
- Iranian espionage groups have a history of spying on other Middle Eastern governments.
The intrigue: Russia is the likeliest nation to launch a disruptive attack against the World Cup as retaliation for FIFA's blanket ban on Russian soccer clubs from competitions after the invasion of Ukraine, according to the report.
Be smart: The report advises those attending the World Cup to use encrypted messaging apps, consider relying on a burner phone, and exercise caution when connecting to public WiFi networks.
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