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Olympics cyberattack: Internal systems crash

Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 12th February, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - The internal systems at the Winter Olympics are said to have been hit by a cyberattack on Friday.

On Sunday, Olympic officials confirmed the cyberattack, which they said was responsible for an internet and wifi shutdown during the Pyeongchang Winter Games opening ceremony.

However, officials refused to identify who was responsible for the attack.

According to the statement released by the officials, the systems crashed but that didn't disrupt the high-tech gala, which was attended by VIPs including the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, and U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence.

Days before the opening ceremony, cyber security experts had warned of potential attacks on the Winter Olympics, with both North Korea and Russia touted as possible sources. 

Further, a month before the opening ceremony, in January, a malware attack targeted organizations involved with the Olympics.

According to officials, South Korea's defence ministry and cybersecurity experts are included in the task force that has been set up to investigate Friday's attack.

However, despite repeated questions, the possible culprit has been kept under wraps.

Sung Baik-you, spokesman for the Games' local organisers said in a statement, "We are not going to reveal the source.”

Meanwhile, Mark Adams, spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said it was "normal practice" not to disclose the source as investigations continue.

He added, “At the moment we are making sure that our systems are secure, which they are, so discussing details of it is not helpful. I certainly don't know who it is, and best industry practice is that you don't talk about an attack at this stage.”

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