Winter Olympic Hack: Why Web Security Is So Important

Posted: Mar 12 2018, 11:54am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

 
Winter Olympic Hack: Why Web Security Is So Important
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The internet continues to be a dangerous place.

On February the 11th it was confirmed that a malware attack had caused severe disruptions to the Olympic network before and during the opening ceremony. The official Olympic website crashed and fans were unable to print tickets as well as find information about upcoming events and the venues hosting them. It took officials until 8am the next morning to fully restore multiple networks – including the WiFi in the stadium as well as the Olympic press center. The malware used, called "wiper" malware, took over 12 hours to contain and secure, and had spread virtually unbridled throughout various networks of the Olympic Games' system.

This is shocking news when you consider that the Olympics would have had some of the most secure networks in the world. And if they could be compromised during arguably one of the most important ceremonies, what does that say about the state of cybersecurity worldwide?

Cybercrime – an ever-increasing epidemic

The malware that crippled the systems of the winter Olympics is nothing new, however. It's the latest in a long line of hacks that have been occurring with growing frequency, and serves to highlight just how vulnerable personal data has become. Oftentimes this data is ransomed back to its owner, or else the details themselves are used to steal money, assets and even identities. In an increasingly connected world where online and tech companies continue to grow, this news is alarming. It's what made the Equifax hack of 2017 – when the personal data of 145 million people was stolen – so alarming.

The same can be said for Yahoo – and its parent company Verizon – who, in the same year, had all of its three billion accounts compromised. In more than 150 countries, including across the pond, the notorious malware WannaCry temporarily crippled hospitals in the United Kingdom. The list goes on. And it begs the question: what can we do about it?

Staying secure – protecting your data in a malicious online climate

There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself – and, if applicable, your customers – online. First and foremost, if you're a website owner that deals with sales and sensitive information such as credit card details, then you're going to want an SSL certificate. These are often part and parcel of 1&1 web packages but can also be obtained separately. They'll ensure that this information remains encrypted and extremely difficult to obtain.

You're also going to want to invest in strong antivirus software if you haven't already. Although there's a bunch of free software out there, don't be lulled by the allure of a cheap deal – buying premium antivirus packages are way more effective at keeping your computer safe.

Then there's the question of passwords. Keep your passwords strong, complicated and hidden. If remembering them is too difficult, then using a password manager is a prudent way of storing all of your valuable passwords without compromising of safety. As an extra cherry on top, change your passwords often. Every six months isn't a bad start, but once a month would be advisable.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.

 

 

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