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Tokyo Olympics: Russian Hackers Targeted On Games, UK Says

Source: BBC

Russian hackers targeted this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo with the point of disturbing them, UK officials said.

The Foreign Office said Russia’s GRU military intelligence carried out “cyber reconnaissance” against officials and organizations involved.

The alleged attacks took place before the Games were delayed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities didn’t however, specify the nature or extent of the cyber- attacks in detail.

Simultaneously, the US Department of Justice announced charges against six Russian GRU officers for alleged cyber-attacks serving “the strategic benefit of Russia”.

The group sought to disturb the 2018 Winter Olympics, the 2017 French presidential election, and Ukraine’s capacity grid, US prosecutors said

“No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia,” assistant attorney general John Demers told a press conference, calling it “the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group”.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the attacks targeting organizers, sponsors, and logistics providers of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were “cynical and reckless”.

“We condemn them in the strongest possible terms,” he said. “The UK will keep on working with our allies to call out and counter future malicious cyber-attacks.”

Foreign Office authorities additionally revealed details of the attack on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On that event, the operation was a “false flag” – one designed to look like it came from North Korea or China, they said.

The 2018 Winter Olympics operation is said to have taken aim at the opening ceremony – focusing broadcasters, authorities, sponsors, and even a ski resort.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, which helped to analyze the information, said the 2018 attack was “intended to sabotage the running of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games” by disabling its networks.

One method was to deploy malware that deleted data from the computer systems used that year.

It was prevented by IT authorities cutting off affected computers and replacing them completely to prevent the malware from spreading, it said.

UK officials have attributed several cyber-attacks against major organizations to GRU units operating under various names such as Sandworm, Voodoo Bear, and Iron Viking.

The Foreign Office itself was subjected to one such attack in 2018 when GRU-affiliated hackers attempted to access its computer systems utilizing a spearphishing attack.

This news is originally posted on BBC

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