If you are one of the thousands of visitors headed to Sochi, Russia for Friday’s 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony then you will be hacked. Richard Engel, from NBC news, reported that it’s not if you get hacked, it’s when, and he discovered that it starts from the moment you turn on your device.
In an experiment conducted by NBC Nightly News, their just out-of-the-box computer and smartphone were hacked in seconds while in Sochi. “The State Department warns that travelers should have no expectation of privacy; even in their hotel rooms. And as we found out, you are especially exposed as soon as you try and communicate with anything,” reported Engel.
“As tourists and families of athletes arrive in Sochi…if they fire up their phones at baggage claim, it’s probably too late to save the integrity of their electronics and everything inside them. Visitors to Russia can expect to be hacked,” said NBC’s anchorman Brian Williams as he introduced the report.
Watch the video report of NBC’s experiment (there’s an ad first, so give it a few seconds):
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UPDATE: NBC has taken some criticism for the story since this report, with claims that it was misleading and promoted scaremongering. The experts they worked with released a white paper describing how each new device, without the protection of antivirus software, was compromised. NBC responded by stating that their experiment was designed to “show in general how easily a non-expert can fall victim.”
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An estimated 67,000 mobile phones are likely to be lost or stolen during the Olympics in London, according to research from security firm Venafi. With the influx of visitors to London starting this week, Venafi extrapolates that a total of 214.4 terabytes - the equivalent of 200 million books full of data - will be lost during the course of the 2012 Olympics.
The risk of losing data, much of it valuable and often-regulated business data, is tremendous. “There’s been an explosion of corporate data available to users from their mobile devices. This is a real danger and one that is often overlooked,” said Gregory Webb, Venafi Vice President of Marketing.
“People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have internet access to. With the ever-shrinking boundaries between work devices and work-enabled personal devices, lost or stolen smartphones and other mobile devices that fall into the wrong hands place companies and business data at tremendous risk.”
Even if you are not attending the Olympics, you can protect your mobile phone from theft by downloading avast! Free Mobile Security, our full-featured anti-theft and anti-malware app for Android smartphones. With special “stealth” and remote-access features, including lock, wipe and siren, as well as an abundance of remote text commands, smartphone users are protected against the loss or misuse of their device. Together with anti-malware features to keep online threats at bay, avast! Free Mobile Security is the most full-featured security app available.
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