Motivating an Olympic Hacker | CyberSecuritySpeak

Racepoint Global

Written by: Ruth Artiles-Valero ─ PR Intern, London

Despite organisers being reluctant to admit it at first, it emerged that the opening of the Winter Olympics was subject to a cyberattack. The Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games (POCOG) confirmed that the attack disrupted telecasts, grounded broadcasters’ drones and shut down the Pyeongchang 2018 website. Disruption to the website ultimately prevented spectators from printing ticket reservations leaving them unable to attend the ceremony, resulting in vast numbers of empty seats.

Cyberattacks are usually motivated by some sort of gain for the perpetrators – financial or for information. But according to Cisco’s threat intelligence team, Talos, the motive was purely destructive: substantial mockery of a very visible entity. While this might seem strange at first (why go to all this effort without any personal gain?), security experts have suggested for some time that we would see attacks of this sort, pointing towards major international events as the main targets.

While the psychology behind this attack and others similar in nature is up for debate, the business impact is very real. Olympic sponsors have become more cautious ─ for instance, a number of them have already increased their security precautions. At the same time, they might justifiably begin to doubt the IOC and South Korean organisers. A cyberattack that appears to have been some very public and high-profile mischief-making at first glance begins to raise quite troubling questions around security.

With the World Cup just a couple of months away, this is food for thought. Cyberattacks are a-changing. Information and money aren’t the only motivators ─ notoriety and prestige are powerful enough alone.

News Round-Up

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