Organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unveiled ticket prices for the Games at a press release held late July this year.
They further stated that the tickets will go on sale from spring next year for Japanese residents.
A precise date for when to start buying is yet to be announced, but for the Olympics enthusiasts hoping to secure seats, they will first need to register online.
The Olympic Games, which usually draw the attention of the entire world, have caught the eyes of cybercriminals hoping to take advantage of the online registration for securing tickets.
A Tokyo 2020 ticket hacking plan has recently been uncovered on darknet discussion forums.
According to news reports, hackers have been caught planning to target Japanese and American ticket-buyers by sending them fake ticket offers via email in a bid to steal their private data.
The hackers’ plan was brought to light by Singapore-based security firm Antuit, which stated that the hackers have been discussing their plans over the dark web since August this year, with the goal of compromising their victims’ computer or smartphone to access data such as bank account details.
Antuit’s analysis on the hackers’ conservations showed that in one of the discussions, a hacker claimed that an attack was already underway targeting around 170,000 individuals from Japan and the U.S.
The vice president of security firm’s Japanese branch alleged that there was a high probability that the hackers are of Chinese origin and that more cyberattacks targeting the Games are expected.
From the dialogs, it was clear that the hackers are not mere amateurs in social engineering techniques (phishing).
They planned to use phrases like “tokyo2020” in senders’ email addresses and deliver URLs via SMS/text based phishing, hoping to lure victims into taking the bait.
To make it more believable and enticing, they have gone as a far as offering Olympic-themed gifts to “free” tickets worth 68,000 yen ($610).
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organizers Familiarizing Themselves with Operations to Prevent a Cyberattack
Hoping to prevent a similar cyberattack that hit the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang South Korea, Tokyo 2020’s technology Director Yuko Takeuchi at a World Press Briefing insisted that measures are being taken to prevent the Games from turning into a catastrophe such as raising public awareness that ticket sales have not started yet.
He also stated that valuable information and experience had been acquired when a cyberattack caused Tokyo 2020’s website to crash in November 2015.
Codenamed “Olympic Destroyer”, the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games cyberattack took down Wi-Fi during the Opening Ceremony as well as paralyzing the Games’ websites—leaving fans unable to print tickets or view results of events.
Tickets are expected to start at the symbolic price point of 2,020 yen ($18), with tickets for the opening ceremony priced between 12,000 yen ($110) and 300,000 yen ($2,670).
From this, one would understand as to why the hackers are hatching plans to perfect the scam.
This demonstrates how well-prepared cybercriminals are to steal one’s private data and sell it via the dark web, which is a very lucrative business.