Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Could Somebody Hack the Super Bowl?

It's the second biggest game in the world, and this year it's being played deep in the heart of tech. Silicon Valley's Levi's Stadium boasts some of the most advanced stadium tech in the world, and will play host to Sunday's Super Bowl. While this has those lucky enough to score a ticket giddy with the possibility of staying connected to friends, the Internet, and even the snack bar during the game, it also has cybersecurity experts worried.

With all that connectivity, could someone hack the Super Bowl or its attendees? And what information is at risk?

Touchscreens and TDs

The Atlantic broke down all the new gadgetry installed in the Forty-Niners new home in Santa Clara:

"Crammed full of networking equipment and 400 miles of fiber-optic cable, it was built with an outsize capacity for supporting Internet-connected devices. Underneath the stadium seats, 13,000 wi-fi access points broadcast a free wireless network to the assembled fans, who are never more than 10 feet from a node. The entire arena can handle a traffic load that's four times higher than NFL's minimum standard for football stadiums."

Cool, right? Well that report also pointed out the people likely to be on that Wi-Fi network during Super Bowl 50: "wealthy corporate executives and sponsors, politicians, and celebrities," according to Carl Herberger, VP for security at cybersecurity company Radware. And all those devices connected to the same network could put a large target on the stadium's apps and infrastructure.

IT and INTs

The threat hasn't caught the NFL off-guard. The league didn't comment on specific cybersecurity precautions but is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security on surveillance equipment and resources, and the FBI has been investigated a series of attacks on fiber-optic cables throughout the Bay Area.

If you're at the game and looking to get online, make sure you choose the right Wi-Fi network, be careful with your Twitter account, and maybe consider installing your own virtual private network if you need to connect.

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