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Winter Olympics hit by cyber-attack, but source unknown

(Image credit: Image Credit: Michaelwedermann / Pixabay)

The organisers of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (opens in new tab) have confirmed that the Games were targeted by cyber attackers during the opening ceremony. 

The Games's Internet and television systems both fell victim to a cyber attack, though the Olympic Committee has chosen not to reveal who was behind the attack.  The organisers did reassure sponsors and attendees by informing them that none of their critical systems were compromised as a result of the security breach. 

A spokesperson with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Mark Adams noted that the organisation had the cyber attack under control, saying:

“Maintaining secure operations is our purpose.  We are not going to comment on the issue.  It is one we are dealing with.  We are making sure our systems are secure and they are secure.” 

When questioned about who was behind the attack, Adams responded that he did not know though in a situation like this, the best practice is not to discuss the attack. 

Sung Baik-you, spokesperson for the Pyeongchang organising committee, confirmed that the cyber attack had been resolved, saying: 

“All issues were resolved and recovered yesterday morning.  We know the cause of the problem but that kind of issues occurs frequently during the Games.  We decided with the IOC we are not going to reveal the source (of the attack).” 

In the days leading up to the Games, security researchers (opens in new tab) speculated that Russia-based hackers may attempt to launch cyber attacks because of how Russia has been excluded from the games due to doping allegations.    

Though the IOC and the Pyeongchang organising committee have decide to keep the identities of the cyber attacks to themselves for now, they could possibly reveal who was behind the cyber attack during this year's opening ceremony after the Games come to a close.   

Image Credit: Michaelwedermann / Pixabay

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.