SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Surprise - the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games were hacked

By Sara Barker
Mon 12 Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Despite warnings and predictions that it may be a target, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics has suffered what may have been an inevitable cyber hack.

Echoing the industry’s adage of ‘it’s not a matter of if an attack happens, but when’, Games organisers have reportedly admitted that its servers had been attacked, forcing them to shut down the official website.

Other issues plagued the Games, including WiFi breakdowns and the internal internet went offline. On top of that, a fleet of drones was unable to perform at the opening ceremony.

However none of the issues have compromised security of the athletes and spectators at the games, organisers say.

CrowdStrike VP of intelligence Adam Meyers discovered threats unique to the Olympics. He explains:

"CrowdStrike Intelligence identified several samples of a previously unknown malware family that appears to be designed for the purpose of data destruction. The earliest samples were seen on 9 February 2018, on the day of the opening ceremony for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games."

"All discovered files have the same PE build timestamp of 2017-12-27 11:39:22 UTC and contain sets of hard-coded credentials that allow them to propagate in a target network. These credentials belong to multiple target entities involved in running computer and network infrastructure for the Olympic Winter Games."

"Telemetry data confirms that several threat actors had access through malicious backdoors to organizations adjacent to targets observed in this campaign; however, it is unknown whether this access was used to deliver the destructive payload."

"In November and December 2017, CrowdStrike Intelligence observed credential harvesting activity against an entity operating in the international sporting sector and attributed it to Russian threat actor FANCY BEAR with medium confidence."

"While there is currently no confirmed connection between this activity and the destructive attack, a similar reconnaissance phase was likely carried out in preparation of this recent operation."

According to security firm McAfee, the Games have also been targeted by ‘malicious documents’ a few days prior to the opening ceremony.

“A new document contained the same metadata properties as those related to Operation GoldDragon and sought to gain persistence on systems owned by organizations involved with the Winter Games,” comments McAfee Advanced Threat Research senior analyst Ryan Sherstobitoff.

Sherstobitoff warned of the possibility of hacks last month

“Theoretically, if they get into the network hosting the PyeongChang email network for the Olympics, they have any number of possibilities moving inside. It depends where the networks are connected — to specific teams, committees, planners at a high level,” he said at the time.

Meanwhile, Russian cybercriminal group Fancy Bear (also known as APT28) has allegedly published emails belonging to International Olympic Committee officials, as well as officials from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and other groups.

The emails look to be dated between 2016 and 2017 and allege that officials are after money and power in the sports world.

The Russian Olympic team was banned from the 2018 Winter Games because of its doping policies that led to cheating in the 2014 and 2016 Olympics. Instead, Russian athletes are now classed as “Olympic Athlete from Russia” (OAR) in the 2018 Games.

As the 2020 Olympics in Japan edge closer, organisations are scrambling to address the cybersecurity skills shortage – a shortage that is expected to swell to almost 200,000 unfilled positions in the next three years, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Cyberbit CEO Adi Dar called the Japan situation ‘a state of urgency’. Cyberbit and Ni Cybersecurity hope to train 50,000 security personnel before the 2020 Games.

The two companies opened their Toranomon Cyber Range Simulation Training Center last year.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
DDoS
NT selects Radware to improve telecom cyber defenses
National Telecom Public Company (NT) has chosen Radware to strengthen the cyber defences of its international telecommunications infrastructure.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Ransomware
Ransomware hits 65% of organisations in Singapore
Next-generation cybersecurity firm Sophos has released its annual survey and review of real-world ransomware experiences in the State of Ransomware 2022.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Data Protection
Managed Service Providers key to customer data protection
Frequent cyberattacks in the ASEAN region drive the demand for MSPs that can deliver purpose-built security solutions for SME customers.
Story image
Ransomware
Zerto unveils updates to ransomware recovery capabilities
"Organisations face increased risks from the volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks prevalent today."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ThoughtLab reveals 10 best practices for cybersecurity in 2022
The benchmarking study reveals best practices that can reduce the probability of a material breach and the time it takes to find and respond to those that happen.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
SonicWall
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.