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Watch Out for Hackers During March Madness

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While market trading may slow down during March Madness, hackers are ramping up to get you in their own brackets.

Basketball fans need to be extra careful when scouring the web for live footage of games and teams' scores while the tournament is going on, the security firm Kaspersky Labs warns. The uptick in online activity lends itself to a perfect opportunity for a hacker to lure an unsuspecting fan into a dangerous situation, according to the security firm's researchers.

(Related Story: 10 Ways Companies Get Hacked)

Kaspersky Labs offer some tips to keep your personal information and bracket safe during the tournament, which ends April 8.

1. Watch Out for Poisoned Searches

Cybercriminals are aware basketball fans are searching for sites to check their teams' stats, but fans aren't always aware that sometimes those links can be dangerous.

(Related Story: A 12-Year-Old Could Hack Most Companies: Expert)

Hackers have been known to build websites that resemble a real sports news site, but are actually fake, malicious sites that can can infect users' systems.

Because it is difficult to spot a fake website, fans should stick to using sites that they are familiar with and those with a reputation for being a good source of sports news, Kaspersky researchers said.

2. Stream With Care

Live streaming games could also endanger your computer or mobile device.

Hackers know people want to watch the games live and will lure fans in with downloadable video programs that can wreak havoc on computer systems.

(Related Story: How to Protect Your Small Business Against a Cyberattack)

Don't install any software program that promises you live streaming if you don't completely trust the source, researchers say.

3. Apps Can Mean Trouble, Too

Basketball fans aren't safe on their mobile applications either.

Just like installing dangerous streaming programs, fans should also steer clear of downloading apps that are "jailbroken," which are apps—usually for a hacked iPhone—that are not released through Apple's app store.

Only download apps to your mobile devices that are created by legitimate sources, researchers said. One way to help ensure that an app is safe is to read users' reviews and check its rating in the app store.

4. Careful With Your Cash

If you have a friendly wager pinned on the tournament, you'll want to be careful how you transfer that money.

While using your banking account to transfer money is usually safe, Kaspersky researchers caution fans to never check their bank account while using a public wireless network and to make sure personal computing devices have the most up-to-date security software installed.

Investigations Inc.: Cyber Espionage

  • When a person enters information on a website, like an email or credit card, it gets stored in that company’s data base. Those web-based forms are a simple tool for users, but they are also another way hackers can exploit a company’s system. Instead of inputting a name into the website, cyber spies can put in a specially crafted text that may cause the database to execute the code instead of simply storing it, Alperovitch said. The result is a “malicious takeover of the system,” he said.

    By attacking business computer networks, hackers are accessing company secrets and confidential strategies and creating huge losses for the overall economy.

  • China is working feverishly to counteract its slowest GDP growth in recent years, and one of the ways it’s doing so, say U.S. officials, is through the theft of American corporate secrets.

  • US businesses are enduring an unprecedented onslaught of cyber invasions from foreign governments, organized crime syndicates, and hacker collectives, all seeking to steal information and disrupt services, cybersecurity experts say.

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