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Volume 25 No. 66
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Pyeongchang Games Fending Off Thousands Of Cyber Attacks

A cyber attack during the opening ceremony made headlines, but aggressive attempts to destabilize the Winter Olympics’ information systems continued into the Games’ first weeks, according to Pyeongchang 2018 organizers and private corporate security reports.

On Feb. 14 alone, more than 27,000 distinct attempts to access the systems or attacks were detected. After the volume declined for a couple of days, attempted attacks spiked again to 4,500 on Feb. 18.

Most of these were unsophisticated “command injection” style attacks, which seek to install arbitrary instructions into Pyeongchang 2018 systems. Some also were phishing attacks, hoping to trick individuals into providing access to Pyeongchang 2018 servers.

“We’re monitoring it very closely and there haven’t been any disruptions to the system,” said Pyeongchang 2018 spokeswoman Nancy Park.

Security reports have not mentioned additional attacks since Feb. 18.

During the opening ceremony on Feb. 9, malware dubbed the “Olympic Destroyer” virus caused the official Pyeongchang 2018 website to be down for several hours, hindering ticket sales and downloads during the ceremony. WiFi networks in the area also were severely diminished.

The website Cyberscoop reported that the hackers at the center of the opening ceremony attack likely first hacked Atos, the French IT provider and global sponsor of the Olympics, in December.