Report: Posing as North Koreans, Russian operatives hacked the Olympics

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An American media outlet says U.S. intelligence detected Russian attempts to hack the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, posing as North Korean operatives.

U.S. intelligence officials say that the Russian military agency GRU obtained access to as many as 300 computers being used by Olympic authorities. The Russian operatives also allegedly hacked routers in South Korea in January and unleashed malware on the Game’s opening day.

Some suspect the attack was linked to the Olympic Committee’s decision to ban Russian athletes from competing on behalf of their country due to a blood doping scandal.

Olympics officials acknowledged a cyber attack on the Games’ systems on opening day but did not announce who was responsible.

The GRU apparently tried to mask its attacks by using North Korean IP addresses, a misdirection effort known as a “false-flag” operation.

“Anyone who controls a router would be able to redirect traffic for one or more selected targets or cause total disruption in the network by stopping the routing entirely,” said Jake Williams, a former National Security Agency cyber-operator and co-founder of Rendition Infosec, a cybersecurity firm. [source]

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