3 May 2018 The growing threat of cybersecurity attacks in sports
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Abstract
During a playoff game, the visual boards throughout a sold-out stadium displays warnings to evacuate because of a hazardous situation, such as a fire inside the venue. Suddenly, spectators are panicked, stadium workers are confused, and the evacuation team designated by the venue begins the task of getting a large crowd out safely and effectively. The power then suddenly goes out amidst the evacuation efforts. This disconcerting event might have begun with a cyber attack on the systems controlling the stadium. A cyber attacker might have gained access to remotely controllable systems, possibly causing physical harm. With professional sports teams and stadiums becoming more and more connected through technology for an improved spectator experience, an increased need for cybersecurity is evident. Fans are susceptible to phishing scams through mobile applications, while remotely controlled systems are vulnerable to hacking. Public wireless networks are open to man-in-the-middle attacks. Professional stadiums may also be in close proximity to one another in large cities, leading to traffic management issues as well as network isolation concerns. If shared or wireless networking resources exist among more than one entity, propagation across the network may occur, leaving multiple venues open to malicious actors. Also, with the increased reliance on technological capabilities throughout sports, the integrity of the game can be negatively impacted. The integration of cyber into such aspects of the game as player performance and data analytics can leave teams within various leagues susceptible to cyber attacks.
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Stephanie Jenkins, Nathaniel Evans, "The growing threat of cybersecurity attacks in sports", Proc. SPIE 10630, Cyber Sensing 2018, 1063003 (3 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2303840; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2303840
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