World Cup 2018: US spy warns Russians will hack smartphones, computers

14 June 2018, 05:06 PM
World Cup 2018: US spy warns Russians will hack smartphones, computers (Representative Image)
World Cup 2018: US spy warns Russians will hack smartphones, computers (Representative Image)

A top US intelligence official has given out a stern warning to traveling football fans for the FIFA World Cup that their smartphones and computers could be hacked by Moscow’s cyber spies.

Director of the National Counter-intelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, said that in Russia even people who think that they are unimportant to be hacked could come under the scanner of hackers.

"Anyone traveling to Russia to attend the World Cup should be clear-eyed about the cyber risks involved," Evanina said in a statement.

"If you're planning on taking a mobile phone, laptop, PDA, or other electronic device with you -- make no mistake -- any data on those devices (especially your personally identifiable information) may be accessed by the Russian government or cyber criminals."

Evanina, who is in charge of the agency that evaluates and counters the threat to the United States from foreign surveillance, said that people visiting Russia during the World Cup should leave behind any electronic devices without which they can spend their time, and if they are carrying any devices, then the battery should be removed when it is not in use, he said.

"Corporate and government officials are most at risk, but don't assume you're too insignificant to be targeted."

First Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018 04:30 PM
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