Russian spies hacked the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang this month, and then tried to make it look as if North Korea interfered instead.
The Washington Post exclusively reported that Russian spies hacked into “several hundred” computers used at the Winter Olympics, and even affected the Opening Ceremony, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
“That evening [Feb. 9] there were disruptions to the Internet, broadcast systems and the Olympics website. Many attendees were unable to print their tickets for the ceremony, resulting in empty seats,” The Washington Post reported.
Russia tried to shift the blame to North Korea in what is referred to as a “false-flag” operation.
The Russian military agency GRU is thought to be behind the cyberattack.
It “had access to as many as 300 Olympic-related computers, according to an intelligence report this month,” The Washington Post reported. “Apart from accessing the computers, GRU cyber-operators also hacked routers in South Korea last month and deployed new malware on the day the Olympics began, according to Western intelligence agencies. Such access could enable intelligence collection or network attacks, officials said.”
It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Russia to interfere in this way – the country has also interfered in past Olympic Games. Plus, the Russian team was banned from this year’s Winter Olympics for doping violations, giving Russia more incentive to retaliate.
While some individual athletes from Russia were allowed to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not allow any Russian Olympic Federation officials at the Games in South Korea. The country’s flag was not displayed on their uniforms or if they won medals, and the country’s anthem was not played, either.