The FBI has put out an advisory to Olympic Games organizers that the event could be the target of cyberattacks.
According to a statement from the agency, an attack could be used to “sow confusion…and advance ideological goals” during the competition.
The main type of attacks, known as denial of service, could lock up computers from broadcasters, hotels, mass transit systems, ticketing services and event security, the FBI’s notification said.
Attacks are not new to the Games. The organizing committee in June was hit with a data breach and leak that compromised about 170 people involved with the games’ security management.
Actors gained “unauthorized access” to an information sharing tool created by Japanese IT company Fujitsu Ltd., Kyodo News reported at the time.
Additional breaches of government agencies, the Foreign Ministry and Fujitsu going back to May were also uncovered.
In early July, the NSA, CISA, FBI, and the NCSC intelligence agencies put out a joint statement warning that the Russian GRU gang, suspected by intelligence officials for being involved in a series of recent cyberattacks, including the hacking of the Columbia Pipeline, were using a “brute force” attack that tries to “force access attempts against the enterprise and cloud environments of government and private sector targets worldwide.”
“The advisory warns system administrators that exploitation is almost certainly ongoing. Targets have been global, but primarily focused on the United States and Europe,” the advisory said.
“Targets include government and military, defense contractors, energy companies, higher education, logistics companies, law firms, media companies, political consultants, or political parties, and think tanks.”
The games are a high value target, according to the multi-agency advisory.
"Given the ongoing rise in temperatures of the ‘Cyber Cold War,’ it is likely that we will see many of those previously linked with recent high profile cyberattacks – such as Russia, China, REvil and other organized groups," Lisa Plaggemier, interim executive director at the National Cybersecurity Alliance told Fox News.
“Ransomware, supply chain attacks and attacks against contracted third-party vendors, should be top-of-mind given recent success these threat types had in breaching SolarWinds, Kaseya and others.”
The quadrennial games run from July 23-Aug. 8 and feature competition in 33 different sports, according to the Olympics.com website.
Some 11,000 athletes, and another 79,000 journalists, officials, and staff have come to the city for the games, which were postponed a year due to the pandemic.
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