Recent outbreaks of attacks are attempting to lure in victims with promise of news and information on the Beijing games, and researchers only see the trend increasing over the coming weeks.
One of the most recent attacks is specifically targeting national sporting organizations and athlete representative groups.
The attacks are disguised as a dispatch from the International Olympic Committee and contain a trojan hidden as a PDF press release. According to security firm MessageLabs, the content in the attack may have been lifted directly from official IOC documents.
When the malicious attachment is launched, the user is infected with a trojan that logs and updates sensitive data.
The use of supposedly official documents has been a favorite technique for targeted 'spear-phishing' attacks. Similar attacks have attempted to spoof the US Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice.
Last month, the Storm worm also used the promise of Olympic news to convince users to install its botnet-controlling software.
Researchers are predicting that the trend will only get worse as the opening ceremonies and the games themselves kick off.
"Cybercrooks have already taken advantage of the world's attention on the Beijing games with malware and data-thieving phishing attacks,” said McAfee research and communications director Dave Marcus.
"With only days left until the Olympic Games kick off, the number of attacks is likely to increase and continue as the event progresses."
Malware writers go for your gold during the Olympics
By Shaun Nichols on Aug 7, 2008 2:20PM