Cyber crime experts warn businesses could be targeted in Eurovision run-up

Fraudsters will try to exploit the contest coming to Liverpool, according to cyber crime prevention experts. Credit: Press Association

Cyber crime prevention experts warn fraudsters will try to target businesses in the run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.

The North West Cyber Resilience Centre say criminals will be "looking for any opportunity to take advantage of a situation."

Firms in Merseyside, and across the North West, will be dealing with new suppliers and new customers around the hosting of the contest "making it harder to spot potential fraudsters."

The contest will be held in Liverpool, on behalf of Ukraine, next month. Credit: Press Association

The centre's founder, Katie Gallagher, said: “Cybercrime is increasingly more sophisticated so it can be really hard to spot phishing or hacking attempts.

"Fraudsters will be relying on businesses dealing with unfamiliar suppliers and customers and looking for any opportunity to take advantage of a situation.”

Last year, a Government survey found 44% of small businesses - in the North West - suffered a cyber breach or attack in the previous 12 months. Just 28% had carried out a risk assessment of their cyber security.

Liverpool's celebrations could potentially be used as a cover by fraudsters. Credit: Press Association

Phishing attacks, via emails and messages, and fake invoices are among the ways criminals could attempt to exploit the event. Companies are also being warned that hackers could use malware to take over their systems.

Detective Inspector Dan Giannasi, from the NWCRC, added: "We strongly advise businesses in the North West, and in particular businesses in the supply chain for the Eurovision Song Contest such as hotels, transport providers and any other suppliers, to update all of their software, ensure their firewalls and virus protection is up-to-date and switch on two-factor authentication wherever possible."