Major Cyberattack Hits PyeongChang Olympics

There was very little media coverage, but the 2018 Winter Olympics was the victim of cyberattacks on many different levels.  The news of cyberattacks leading up to and during the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang highlight the multifaceted risk of today’s digital world, we talk to Tom Kelly of about the incidents.  Kelly is a leading authority on cyber security.
Talking Points from the interview include::
  • International events on this scale will inevitably draw security issues, but in today’s climate, cyberattacks are becoming more and more common.
  • The threat is multifaceted: travelers may experience low-level disruption, digital “pickpocketing” that targets transactions on mobile or other forms of stolen personal information. This type of attack can be warded off – in addition to general awareness – by following basic digital etiquette such as changing passwords, avoiding transactions incorporating personal information on insecure venues and not clicking on messages from unknown sources.
  • Vendors attending have already been targeted in phishing through malware sent via email that infiltrated devices when opened. This affected both vendors and athletes.  We saw similar phishing instances occur during the Summer Games in Rio in 2016. Organizations need to offer guidelines for online best practices for staff traveling abroad, as should the IOC.
  • As we saw during the opening ceremony, larger scale attacks have been launched to disrupt the proceedings, and while the origins are as of yet unnamed, attacks like this raises questions that factor into how government and international-facing organizations make policy and travel decisions. This is an area that industry and government will need to work together to solve, as it will be an ongoing conversation.