“Make no mistake”, Russian cyber criminals could hack your phone

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Several intelligence agencies warn that electronic devices taken to Russia during the 2018 World that starts tomorrow could be hacked by Russian spies.

In a statement to Reuters, William Evanina, an FBI agent and the director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre, warned World Cup travelers that even if they think they are insignificant, hackers could still target them.

‘If you’re planning on taking a mobile phone, laptop, PDA, or other electronic devices with you – make no mistake – any data on those devices (especially your personally identifiable information) may be accessed by the Russian government or cyber criminals,’ he said.

British security agencies have issued similar warnings to the British public and the England football team ahead of the tournament.

The NCSC, a branch of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), gave a host of security tips in a statement to the public yesterday.

It said fans should be wary of hotel and public wi-fi and keep their devices with them at all times, and recommended they check with their mobile network whether their phone will work abroad.

The NCSC also suggested Britons heading to Russia consider taking only what is necessary, adding:

‘It may be safer and cheaper to buy a pay-as-you-go phone.’

As many as 400,000 foreign fans are expected to travel to Russia for the 31-day tournament, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia.