Home / Hacking / Winter Olympics "draws hackers like flies to a candle," cybersecurity expert says – CBS News

Winter Olympics "draws hackers like flies to a candle," cybersecurity expert says – CBS News

Officials in South Korea are investigating a security breach at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. A spectator manged to slide down the ramp leading to the Olympic Flame, and wandered around the stage during a performance. He was taken away by security.

Meanwhile, Olympic organizers are investigating a possible cyberattack on their internet and WiFi systems before the Opening Ceremony. There were no serious problems, but officials are concerned that the Games could be targeted again by hackers.

The most pressing threat to the Winter Olympics may be one that South Korean security teams can’t see.

“It’s got political importance. It’s got a lot of money — that draws hackers like flies to a candle,” said cybersecurity expert Jim Lewis. 

He told CBS News hackers have repeatedly targeted the Games.

During the Olympics in Beijing, London and Brazil, there were reportedly millions of attempted cyberattacks a day. Some succeeded.
 
“Low-level but scamming tickets, stealing money,” Lewis said
 
The Department of Homeland Security alert warned travelers to Pyeongchang that their mobile devices could be monitored or compromised. 

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The most pressing threat to the Winter Olympics may be one that these South Korean security teams can’t see

CBS News

One concern in South Korea is whether Russian hacking units may seek payback for the decision to ban Russia’s Olympic team from the Games amid doping allegations.

 “And in previous Olympics they’ve done their usual trick,” Lewis said. “They hack emails and release things that are damaging to American athletes or athletes from other countries.”

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Cybersecurity experts are worried about hacking during the Pyeongchang Olympics.

CBS News

Cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect says a hacking unit with Russian ties called “Pawn Storm”  recently sent malicious emails to the International Ski Federation, International Ice Hockey Federation and several other organizations with a stake in the Winter Games.

“But as far as a direct attack on the Games themselves, it’s most likely to come from your non-state actor groups, the cyber hackactivists,” said Ross Rustici, an expert with Cybereason.

“I think the most likely scenario from these types of actors would be being able to interrupt a TV broadcast or perhaps interrupt the power during an event, kinda shut down the lights at an ice skating rink or something,” Rustici said.   

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Cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect says a hacking unit with Russian ties called “Pawn Storm” recently sent malicious emails to the International Ski Federation, International Ice Hockey Federation, and several other organizations with a stake in the winter games.

CBS News

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