World Cup start attracts speedy spam strike


World Cup-related spam was sent out at a rapid pace on the first day of the tournament, with 257 million such messages sent every hour, according to figures from Cisco ScanSafe.

Four per cent of worldwide spam on Friday 11 June the start of the tournament was related to the World Cup and, according to a Cisco estimate, more than three billion such spam messages were sent on that day alone.

In terms of what web browsers should be wary of, websites offering free downloads of World Cup wall charts have been rife with malware, with adverts for fake anti-virus software covering these web pages, Cisco said.

Sites offering streams of live matches have also been popular with cyber criminals, some of whom have been tricking users into paying for such a service even though it is available free in most countries.

"Although the level of malware around the World Cup is still relatively low at this point, these early signs should act as a caution to users. With every popular global event comes targeted malware. Users should avoid clicking on unknown links as well as ensuring their security systems are updated," said Spencer Parker, product manager at Cisco.

Business productivity will undoubtedly be taking something of a beating during the World Cup, with Cisco noting that the traffic of its business customers has increased by an average of 37 per cent during matches. For some games, traffic has increased by as much as 50 per cent.

Despite such concerning signs for businesses, a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers study showed that just seven per cent of people in the UK are planning to watch England games online.

Read on to look at our feature on the tech form of the World Cup contenders.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.