NBC News’ Richard Engel recently reported on the dire state of network and device security at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Engel took brand new hardware – a MacBook Air, Galaxy S4, and Windows laptop – and set them up with fake credentials as a honeypot of sorts, hoping to catch a glimpse of just how fast an unsuspecting user’s device can be compromised upon connecting to an unsecure network. The bait was taken and, within minutes, Engel’s test devices had triggered malware downloads, and had began transmitting data to servers located somewhere in Russia. The malware was reported to be capable of intercepting and recording voice communications, too.
With the mass influx of international and high profile visitors to the Olympics, it’s no wonder that hackers would target Sochi-based networks in the hopes of snagging some valuable information from overly-trusting users. While guarded individuals can take precautions to secure their devices abroad, there is still an unknown danger as to the the havoc such malware can wreak once unwitting users return home and connect to trusted devices and intranets. Several questions still remain: What credentials will be transmitted when the malware phones home? Will the malware infect home and business networks? What repercussions will these breaches have for enterprise and consumer users alike down the road?
Only time will tell.
See the video below for Engel’s report, or click here to view it directly on NBC