Data collected by cyber firm Group-IB has found scams are proliferating at the Qatar World Cup as cybercriminals target unsuspecting fans.
According to Cyberscoop, scammers have set up a variety of ways to harvest personal information and steal money from people trying to buy merchandise or tickets online or searching for onsite work during the games.
Group-IB researchers said they have identified as many as 90 potentially compromised Hayya accounts, which is the system established so World Cup attendees can enter Qatar and access tickets and other services such as transportation.
To carry out their World Cup scams, the researchers observed the attackers using info-stealing malware such as Redline and Erbium.
The researchers claimed they also identified fake merchandise and ticket websites used to steal money directly or swipe banking credentials. They uncovered roughly 40 fake apps in the Google Play Store promising access to tickets, and at least five websites purporting to be job application forms used to harvest personal information.
In another example, scammers impersonated an unnamed Qatari petrochemical firm to goad users into filing out a survey. Those users were then asked to share the link to the scam survey via WhatsApp to between five and ten groups or 20 to 30 contacts.
Group-IB researchers detected more than 16,000 scam domains in the run up to the tournament, the company said Tuesday, along with “dozens” of fake social media accounts, advertisements and mobile apps targeting World Cup fans and attendees.
Those findings line up with data collected by other firms, including Kaspersky and Trellix, which reported Nov. 17 a 100% increase in the volume of malicious emails in Arab countries from September to October.
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