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Cyber-criminals exploiting World Cup Fever

A software technology company has identified a phishing campaign linked to the start of the FIFA World Cup where cyber-criminals attempt to lure would-be victims into downloading a schedule of fixtures and a result tracker

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A software technology company has identified a phishing campaign linked to the start of the FIFA World Cup where cyber-criminals attempt to lure would-be victims into downloading a schedule of fixtures and a result tracker.

When opened, the attachment uses a malware variant called ‘DownloaderGuide,’ a known downloader of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that is most commonly used as an installer for applications such as toolbars, adware or system optimizers. Check Point researchers have found that in total the campaign includes different executable files, all of which were sent in emails using the subject: “World_Cup_2018_Schedule_and_Scoresheet_CB-DL-Manager.”

The campaign was first identified on May 30, 2018, peaking on June 5, however during the past week it has gained new momentum with new instances emerging as the competition starts.

“Events that attract huge amounts of popular interest are seen by cyber-criminals as a golden opportunity to launch new campaigns,” said Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Group Manager, Maya Horowitz. “With so much anticipation and hype around the World Cup, cyber-criminals are banking on employees being less vigilant in opening unsolicited emails and attachments. As such, it is critical that organizations take steps to remind their employees of security best practices to help prevent these attacks being successful.

“In addition to this, organisations should also take steps to ensure that phishing campaigns don’t reach inboxes in the first place. This should include employing a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that protects against both established malware families’ cyber-attacks and brand new threats and prevents it from spreading across the network in the result of the initial campaign being successful.”

With Check Point anticipating a further range of online scams and phishing attacks during the month-long tournament, it has also issued the following guidance for individuals to protect themselves from cyber threats during the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

1. Keep software updated – Ensure that your PC or device’s operating system, security software, apps and web browsers are all updated with the latest versions as this will form an effective defense against malware, viruses and other online threats.

2. Beware of fake websites – At previous large public events, cyber-criminals have created fake websites and domains, covering everything from merchandising to news and live streaming, which appear to be official but can be used to deliver malware to, or capture sensitive information from unsuspecting visitors.

3. Beware of emails from unknown senders – Cyber-criminals will likely send a variety of phishing emails during the tournament, offering a range of free offers or entries into draws for match tickets. This could be in the form of hyperlinks or attachments that will either download malware onto machines or attempt to steal your personal data. It is best to avoid opening emails or attachments from an unrecognized sender.

4. Beware of public Wi-Fi hotspots – With matches taking place throughout the day, many will be tempted to use public Wi-Fi hotspots to watch games on mobile devices. However, insecure hotspots are easy targets for hackers to compromise and intercept personal data such as emails and passwords, or plant malware on mobile devices.

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Angola inaugurates new satellite control centre for ANGOSAT-2

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Angola has inaugurated its first satellite control centre with the main task of monitoring the activity of the country’s satellite, ANGOSAT-2.

While inaugurating the Centre on Friday at the Funda area of Luanda, the southern African country’s capital, President João Lourenço said the fully equipped centre with technical and technological means will be maintained by its technical experts with the help of Russia after the launch of the ANGOSAT-2 in October last year.

“With the launch of this satellite and its commissioning, Angola will win in all services, so we will improve our telecommunications and our social communication and will also benefit from this important project,” President João said.

“Therefore, further investments to ensure that our telecommunications contribute to the development of the country and the services of our economy, not just of Angolan society, will continue to be made.

“It has been said here that in terms of fibre optics and therefore cable transmission and investment that we are making today to connect Angola to the neighbouring country, specifically the DRC,” the President added.

The Satellite Mission and Control Center, according to local media, is an intelligent infrastructure with multiple engineering advantages, capable of guaranteeing the tracking, monitoring and operation of satellites.

Angola had, in December 2017, launched its trial satellite ANGOSAT-1 alongside the Russian rocket, but it was soon to be lost after it had lost control as soon as it entered orbit.

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Egyptian e-sports platform, GBarena, buys Tunisia’s Galactech, for $15m

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Egyptian e-sport startup, GBarena, has acquired the Tunisia-based online tech platform, Galactech, in a swap deal worth $15 million.

GBarena which is the leading Middle Eastern e-sports platform, gounded in 2016 by Mustafa Zaza and Bishoy Mesdary, in its bid to create an online gaming community the connects gamers with tournament organisers and customers, said in a statement on Friday that its quest to provide its customers with a platform where they can manage their tournaments through fully automated processes informed its decision to acquire the Tunisian firm.

Galactech, founded in 2019 by Houcem Maiza and Houssem Zouaghi, has over 200,000 active users and with the acquisition,will support GBArena’s plans to expand into the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Tunisia, and the Middle Eastern esports industry.

The acquisition marks a milestone transaction for GBarena in anticipation of closing its Series A later this year, with participation from investors in the US, Singapore and the MENA region.

“Our goal has always been to provide our users with an unparalleled e-sports experience, no matter where they’re located in the world. With our acquisition of Galactech, we can now ensure that our users from North Africa will have access to identical features and content they have come to expect from us while providing them with extensive opportunities for growth and development within the esports community,” CEO Samer Wagdy said.

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