State-sponsored hack believed to have been behind the 2018 Winter Olympics cyberattack in Pyeongchang
A cyberattack disrupted the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics on Friday, organisers have revealed.
TV and web broadcasting services were affected in the attack on the Games – hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea – but officials said that no vital infrastructure had been damaged.
A spokesman for the committee behind the Pyeongchang Games told press on Sunday that “all issues were resolved and recovered yesterday morning”.
The International Olympic Committee re-affirmed the integrity of the Games’ electronic systems but said little beyond that, declining to reveal the source of the attack.
“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,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told Reuters, adding that “maintaining secure operations is our purpose”.
In the wake of Winter Olympics hack, some have pointed to North Korea’s long-standing conflict with its South Korean neighbours, as well as the list of cyberattacks the country is suspected of orchestrating, such as the WannaCry ransomware attack last May.
Others, however, have disputed this interpretation, citing the fact North Korea is represented at the games, and the two nations marched together at the opening ceremony for the first time in over a decade.
Instead, Russia has been fingered as a potential culprit by some experts, citing the fact that the country has been banned from competing in the Games over doping scandals as a potential motive.
Russia’s foreign ministry stated prior to the opening ceremony that any media allegations suggesting Russia would be behind any attacks on the Games would be false. The IOC has also advised Pyeongchang organisers not to reveal the source of the hack, with spokesman Mark Adams stating that “best international practice says that you don’t talk about an attack”.
Regardless of who is behind the attacks, security experts do not expect them to stop while the Games are underway.
“It is clear attacks are ongoing and are likely to continue throughout the duration of the games,” said McAfee senior analyst Ryan Sherstobitoff. “What is yet to be determined is if actors are working simply to gain disruption or if their motives are greater.”