Arizona Cyber Command prepares for “worst case scenario” in the Super Bowl
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – For a few hours in February, State Farm Stadium in Glendale will feel like the center of the universe. Two teams will battle it out on the gridiron to cement their place in Super Bowl history. Football fans will be watching. Unfortunately, bad guys can be too. “These attackers are very creative,” said Tim Roemer, director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. Roemer noted that there are currently no credible cybersecurity threats specifically against the Super Bowl. Still, he said there is a team of people on high alert working to protect the big game, which is an attractive target.
“When it comes to high-profile events, hackers think, ‘If I go after more high-profile events, I’ll get paid,'” Roemer told On Your Side. “That’s why they go after them.” It is also the reason why the state’s cyber command constantly tests for vulnerabilities. “We’re going through a worst case scenario, how we would recover from that, how we would quickly respond to ensure minimal impact,” Roemer added. “The Super Bowl is no different than our daily lifestyle. The worst thing that can happen is to go after critical infrastructure, then go after power, go after water. Things like that will always have the biggest impact.”
A hacker can still wreak havoc without targeting the critical infrastructure. Here is a possible scenario. It’s game day. The fans are here. They have spent thousands of dollars on this once in a lifetime experience. What happens if the ticket app gets hit and no one can get into the game, or concessions go down and no one can buy food and drink? What happens if the stadium lights go out or the scoreboard or TV broadcast is hacked? “We go through all the scenarios. It is useful for our team and everyone involved. I can tell you that cybersecurity has a seat at the table when it comes to the Super Bowl this time around, which is fantastic,” Roemer said. “We are no longer an afterthought. We are believed to be one of the most critical components of this overall event.”
According to Roemer, education also takes place for third-party suppliers who have contracts with the Super Bowl. Cyber security experts regularly remind people not to click on potentially harmful links and to avoid posting too much information on social media. If people post about jobs related to the big game, hackers know to go after you with phishing emails that can open the door to a cyber attack.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.