On February 9th, 2017, during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics its official website suffered a massive cyber attack causing service disruption. Before that IT security researchers at McAfee reported a new malware campaign aimed at the Winter Olympics
In both attacks, the prime suspect was North Korea due to the ongoing tensions with South Korea, however, Russian hackers were also under the radar due to the fact that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had banned Russia From 2018 Olympics and told the athletes to compete under the Olympic flag.
Now, WashingtonPost (WP) reports that officials at U.S. intelligence are convinced that the hackers behind aforementioned cyber attacks were Russians who targeted the cyberinfrastructure of the Olympics and framed North Korea as the culprit.
According to the report, two intelligence officials told WP on the basis of anonymity that Russia carried out “false-flag” cyber attacks by making it look like as if North Korea was behind these attacks. They fear that Russian hackers could also target and interrupt the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday.
“We’re watching it pretty closely. It’s essentially a Korean problem but we will help the Koreans as requested,” said the officials.
However, Russian officials have already denied any involvement in the attack on PyeongChang Winter Olympics website. In its official statement, the Russian foreign ministry said that: “We know that Western media are planning pseudo-investigations on the theme of ‘Russian fingerprints’ in hacking attacks on information resources related to the hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in the Republic of Korea – “Of course, no evidence will be presented to the world.”
Remember, among other damages, the website attack during the opening ceremony caused malfunction of the Internet protocol televisions (IPTVs) at the Main Press Centre and prevented spectators who purchased tickets to 2018 Winter Games events were unable to print their reservations.