Corporate news

The Olympic Games are a boon for cybercriminals

July 23, 2021 marked the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the biggest event in world sports, followed by millions of spectators around the globe. And this year’s gathering of elite athletes was all the more anticipated after having been delayed a year due to the global pandemic. And all this is a boon for cybercriminals who see in it an excellent opportunity to dupe their victims amidst all the excitement, and an additional threat for brands online.

Increased registration of domain names linked to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

According to a study by Dr. Tatsuya Mori, specialist in information security at the University of Waseda in Tokyo, there are today 1,753 domain names using terms related to the Olympics, such as “Tokyo,” “2020,” and “Olympics.” Among these 1,753 domain names, 148 will be used to deploy fake websites for popular topics like merchandise sales and ticket refunds. The goal of these cybercriminals is to steal personal information to sell on the black market.

This cybersquatting threat is all the more pronounced for businesses sponsoring the Olympic Games, whose names are frequently mentioned on a daily basis throughout the course of the games. Internet users are in turn less careful when they see them, a point of special interest to attackers.

However, more generally, any business can be impacted by cybersquatting related to this year’s Olympics.

Measures to take to avoid abusive use of your brand name

With thousands of domain endings available, cybersquatting has become an omnipresent threat in managing businesses’ online presence, protecting their reputation, and also retaining customers. Luckily, you can easily implement defensive measures in your brand protection strategy.

Register your brand name with TMCH

TMCH, or Trademark Clearinghouse, is a brand protection mechanism implemented by ICANN to address cybersquatting concerns related to the recent introduction of a large number of new domain endings.

By registering your trademark with TMCH, you benefit from a priority registration period — know as the Sunrise period — for any new domain ending released. Also, registering with TMCH guarantees you will be alerted if a third party registers a domain name using your trademark.

Consider blocking services

Blocking services allow you to block the registration of domains with hundreds of domain endings all while offering you the flexibility to unblock them if you need to use them. Subscribing to these brand protection services is part of a defensive brand protection strategy that’s less onerous than registering a domain name in each domain ending.

You can find more details about blocking services here.

Use the brand monitoring service offered by Gandi Corporate Services

Opting for a monitoring service guarantees quick and effective action in the case of domain name fraud. Our brand monitoring service acts like a surveillance system that detects uses of your trademark in domain names.

Our monitoring service extends to more than 1,200 domain endings and includes typographic variations, subdomains, and IDN homoglyphs. We monitor more than 200 million domain name registrations per day in order to alert you to the illegitimate registration of domain names containing your trademark within 24 hours. Thanks to our monitoring service, you can react quickly and challenge registrations that violate your rights.

This latest report of Olympics–related fraud is further proof of the omnipresent threat faced by all brands online. If you would like to know more about brand protection and the possible fraudulent uses of your brand name, feel free to contact your account manager or to email us at