Winter Olympics “draws hackers like flies to a candle,” cybersecurity expert says

Cyber Security is a global issue. Adsero has seen it all and done it all. Read on to discover why hackers are so attracted to the Winter Olympics.


Officials in South Korea are investigating a security breach at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. A spectator managed 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 cyber attack 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 cyber attacks 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.

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.”

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro 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.

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