Data Security alert for FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar

FIFA World Cup 2022 is all set to start in a couple of days and authorities managing the event are busy taking many measures to keep the venues, players, viewers, audiences, fans and broadcasting free from cyber threats of all kinds.

All football fans who are visiting Qatar for the sporting event are being urged to download two apps: Ehteraz and Hayya. While the first one is related to COVID-19 tracking, the second one is related to venue entries, free transport and offering premium hospitality.

Till here, all seems like a cakewalk. But there is something else in the background that draws concern.

Already, some 4-6 apps with the same name and pronunciation, but with a different spelling are sprouting up on the play store and are alleged to be notoriously data stealing and espionage related malware.

Qatar Ehteraz developers are also being dragged into the scrutiny radar as their apps are seen access location, photos, videos and make unpromoted calls and have access to messages. Meaning, any hacker who takes control of the corona tracking app can do more than what is intended and who knows it can take a crime stride, anytime.

After reviewing what is being offered through Hayya and Ehteraz, the France’s data protection agency CNIL is urging fans, visitors and players to use a burner phone when in Qatar and then dump it as soon as the event culminates.

A ‘Burner Phone’ is a prepaid sim loaded mobile that is low in cost and can be discarded when a person no longer needs it. Meaning, it can be used as a tissue paper and can be thrown away after a specific point of time or when its life ends.

Thus, it will put an end to the menace where some fake and fraudulent social media apps seeking permission fraudulent start accessing certain features of a smart phone(like credentials), which was otherwise unwanted.

NOTE- This article was created not with an intention to tarnish the image of those organizing the football event, but to let know the fans and players about a possible cyber threat lurking at the event of Qatar Football World Cup 2022.


Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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