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DHS warns Olympics may bring out cyber thieves

The upcoming 2012 Olympic Games may attract more than sports fans on the Web, according to DHS.

The agency warned in a Blog post from its “Stop, Think, Connect” cyber security campaign on July 17 that the games in London will also draw its share of cyber opportunists looking to capitalize on the events. It warned computer users to be wary of online scams that purport to be connected to the games.

The London games begin July 27 and run through August 12.

“With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, cyber criminals and online scammers are sure to be on the prowl, hoping to take advantage of Internet users who let their guard down with offers of discounted tickets, free merchandise, exclusive videos, or breaking news,” DHS said.

It noted that hackers frequently use large, highly-publicized events and news stories to entice Internet users to click on bogus links that unleash malware and viruses on computers, smart phones, tablets and other wireless devices.

It advised computer users to use common sense in browsing and downloading information associated with the games: Update anti-virus and anti-spyware software and use spam filters and firewalls; download only apps and software from reputable sources; don’t click on “promising” deals; and scrutinize links carefully when searching for Olympic-related pages

Opening unsolicited emails from unknown sources and clicking on embedded links in those emails are no-no’s too, it said, as is providing personal information and credit card numbers to unverified sites.