Hackers have reportedly been caught planning to target American and Japanese ticket-buyers looking to purchase passes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The group had supposedly been preparing to send fake ticket offers via email in an effort to steal private information from the public, according to a Singaporean security firm’s report.

No damage has been caused as yet, but the Tokyo Olympic Organising Committee said that to prevent scams, “we have been raising public awareness that tickets sales have not started yet. Assuming phishing scams will occur, we will continue to gather information and give the heads-up,” Kydo News reports.

Hackers have been discussing its phishing plan since August over the dark web, which allows untraceable online activities, the security firm said.

“Looking at their dialogue, there is a high possibility that the hacking group is of Chinese origin. More cyberattacks that target the Tokyo Olympics can be expected as the world focuses on the sporting event,” said Shuhei Igarashi, vice-president of security firm Antuit’s Japanese branch.

The group were repotedly looking to infect individuals’ computers and mobiles with a virus that would allow the hackers to steal sensitive information and draw money from their bank accounts.

The conversations that have been found on the dark web discuss methods to make the scam more credible, such as putting ‘tokyo2020’ in their email addresses and URLs.

In addition, a hacker reportedly mentioned that an attack on 170,000 individuals in the United States and Japan has already started, indicating that multiple attacks may have already been launched.

Image: Marco Verch