Thousands of Malicious Apps and Social Media Accounts Found At The Olympics

The Olympics in Brazil starts today. And Proofpoint has found thousands of potential risks in Olympics-related social media accounts and mobile apps. There were over 4,500 of risky apps associated with the Olympics on Android and iOS, including clearly malicious apps with the ability to take over mobile devices.

A close look at Olympic-related social media accounts also revealed a wide range of impostor accounts, as well as substantial numbers conducting more overt illegal activities such as:

●15% of Olympics-related social media accounts were fraudulent and many featured illegal live streaming, phishing, illegal ticket sales, and more.

●82% were impostor accounts, with misleading use of Olympic or sponsor brand elements to attract followers and interaction.

●6% used the popularity of the Olympics to steal follower credentials in phishing attacks

●4% involved fake or unauthorized ticket sales.

●3% emulated Olympics pages to distribute anti-Olympics or anti-Brazil propaganda.

The full details of the findings are available on Proofpoint’s blog:

3 Tips for Social Media and Mobile Users:

  • Only engage with verified pages and use official mobile apps 
  • Only purchase tickets from the official Olympics site
  • Avoid free-streaming, “too good to be true” offers, and unofficial mobile apps

5 Tips for Brands:

  • Automate content moderation to deal with increase in content volume
  • Use a discovery tool to find and help you take down fraudulent social media accounts and mobile apps
  • Install a social media protection tool to mitigate account hacks
  • Use strong passwords and adopt two-factor authentication
  • Limit the number connected apps that can publish to your pages


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