Hacker attacks on the threshold of the 2020 Olympics

Hacker attacks on the threshold of the 2020 Olympics

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At least 16 national and international sports and anti-doping organizations across three continents have been targeted in the attacks, which began around 16 September. Experts are alarmed at the hacking attacks ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

The hacker attacks promise to mark the sports world in the months leading up to the 2020 Olympics, and perhaps even during the Games themselves. According to experts, the events have to do with doping scandals and possible bans on the participation of certain athletes in major sporting events.

Hackers have already committed a series of cyberattacks on organizations affiliated with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The news was reported by Microsoft, which reported unusual traffic.

“Microsoft’s Intelligent Attack Center has recorded a series of significant cyber attacks originating from a group known as Strontium or Fancy Bear / APT28 against anti-doping agencies and sports organizations around the world. While the world looks forward to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games, we decided it was important share information about this new range of activities, “the company announced.

At least 16 national and international sports and anti-doping organizations on three continents have been targeted in the attacks. They began around September 16, just before news of potential measures under consideration by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Some of the cyber attacks detected were successful, but most were not, Microsoft claims.

The methods used in recent attacks are similar to those used by Strontium in its attacks on governments, military groups, research centers, law firms, human rights organizations, financial firms and universities around the world. Methods include identity theft, password hashing, type of brutal attack, use of Internet-connected devices, and use of open source and personalized malware.

Analysts say Russia is likely to be banned from participating in major sporting events, including the 2020 Olympics. The country has received a warning from the World Anti-Doping Agency in recent days.

In January, Russia sent data from its Moscow lab to the CAA with the goal of returning the country back to the world of sports after a three-year hiatus, imposed over the discovery of a state-sponsored doping program. However, the CAA said on Monday that its executive board had been informed that a formal regulatory compliance process had been opened to detect “inconsistencies” in Moscow data.

There is no decision on the case, but there are objections from the World Olympic Committee, and the likelihood that an anti-doping agency will block Russia’s participation in the Olympic Games is not unrealistic.

“At present, this is just a hypothesis, but if the experts confirm, the Compliance Review Board will recommend that we send a notice to Russia stating that the country is not eligible,” explained Jonathan Taylor, CAA president.

According to experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, these events are at the heart of Strontium’s hacking attacks. Experts remind that the same organization – also known as “Fancy Bear” – was at the root of “multiple successful cyberattacks against the 2018 Winter Olympics” when a Russian team was banned from participating on a doping charge.

“You can protect yourself from this type of attack in at least three ways,” Microsoft recommends. “First, we recommend enabling two-factor authentication for all business and personal email accounts. Second, learn how to spot and protect yourself from phishing. Third, enable security alarms for links and files from suspicious websites.”

Hacker attacks on the threshold of the 2020 Olympics

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