Russian hackers could target anti-doping agencies, warns cyber-security firm
Russian hackers could target anti-doping agencies around the world in retaliation for the exclusion of some Russian athletes from next month’s winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, ThreatConnect, a US cyber-security firm, has warned.
Researchers from ThreatConnect said that they had noticed increased activity from Russian hackers over the last month, including the registration of three domain names that mimic those of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the US Anti-Doping Agency and Olympic Council of Asia.
The warning follows this week’s claimed hack into “International Olympic Committee officials’ correspondence” by the Fancy Bears, the Russian hacking group, which claimed that the hack showed evidence that the leadership of international sport is divided, especially over its approach to anti-doping.
ThreatConnect told Reuters that the latest moves by hackers showed similarities to the methods used by the Fancy Bears in the past. While there was no evidence that hackers had used the web domains maliciously, they could provide the building blocks for future attacks.
Last month, the IOC ruled that only selected ‘clean’ Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in PyeongChang, and only under the name ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’, wearing uniforms bearing this name, and competing under the Olympic flag, with the Olympic anthem to be played at any ceremony.
The target of the latest Fancy Bears leak appeared to be those involved in that unfair (in the Fancy Bears’ eyes) decision. The Fancy Bears have previously published confidential medical information from western athletes in sports including soccer and athletics, alleging that a blind eye was being turned to evidence of doping.