Champions League final stream could be under threat from ‘sophisticated’ malware strain, say experts

Mail Online | 5/24/2018 | Aaron Brown For Mailonline
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Hackers could be preparing to bring down the Champions League final broadcast this weekend, security experts have warned.

Coverage of the match could be disrupted by a 'sophisticated' new strain of malware, which has already infected half a million routers worldwide.

Concentration - Routers - Ukraine - Champions - League

The highest concentration of infected routers is in Ukraine, where the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool will be held in the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex on Saturday.

The malware – dubbed VPNFilter – was first uncovered by Cisco Systems' cybersecurity unit, Talos.

Cisco - Systems - Researchers - Number - Routers

According to the Cisco Systems researchers, the number of routers infected with VPNFilter has spiked this month, with almost all of the newly-infected devices located in the Ukraine.

Cyber Security expert Pascal Geenens believes the timing of this spike in malware could hint at plans to disrupt the Champions League final broadcast.

Geenens - Cyber - Security - Evangelist - Security

Pascal Geenens, who works as a Cyber Security Evangelist for security firm Radware, told MailOnline: 'I would not discount that a nation state is trying to discredit Ukraine through interfering with the broadcast of the Champions League or deprive people from watching the broadcast.'

He believes a disruption to the broadcast could be achieved by targeting the stadium services with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

DDoS - Attacks - Website - Service - Torrent

DDoS attacks flood a targeted website or service with a torrent of superfluous requests in an attempt to overload the servers and cause it to crash.

According to Geenens, a DDoS attack at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex could impact broadcasters' online streaming platforms.

Attacks - Broadcaster - DNS - Services - Dyn

'The attacks could either directly target the broadcaster or could attack the DNS services like was done on Dyn in Oct 2016,' he explained.

Dyn is a domain registration service that was attacked by a devastating DDoS attack back in 2016.

Cyberattack - Dyn - Outages - Twitter - Amazon

The cyberattack on Dyn triggered huge outages to Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, Reddit, CNN, Spotify, and more, across North America and Europe.

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