World Cup a security success
21 Jul 2006


The 2006 FIFA World Cup will end up being remembered for its football, goals, refereeing blunders, that head butt and Italys fourth win, but it certainly will not be remembered for any major problems on the IT side. This is because the computer network created specially for the event in Germany didnt suffer from a single security-related or application outage.

Avaya, the company that built and maintained the networks quotes some spectacular numbers: for instance, more than 5 million unique firewall incidents occurred daily during the two months the network was set up.
Over two months a total of 128,000 incidents made it past the firewall and 12% of these were identified as critical, but most were found to be false positives. Avayas network was the unseen backbone of the tournament, handling absolutely everything to do with the organization of the event. In total between accreditations, match data, media transmissions and other communications the system carried nearly 30 terabytes of data. Interestingly, no Denial of Service or other targeted attacks on the network were detected. However, network managers removed some 70 to 80 viruses and other malware during the World Cup, including some of the more common ones such as Mytob and Mydoom. According to Avaya, all incidents with malware occurred after attempts to connect already infected laptops to the network.