Russian military spies hacked several hundred computers used by authorities at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, according to U.S. intelligence.
They did so while trying to make it appear as though the intrusion was conducted by North Korea, what is known as a “false-flag” operation, said two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
Officials in Pyeongchang acknowledged that the Games were hit by a cyberattack during the Feb. 9 opening ceremony but had refused to confirm whether Russia was responsible. That evening there were disruptions to the internet, broadcast systems and the Olympics website. Many attendees were unable to print their tickets for the ceremony, resulting in empty seats.
Analysts surmise the disruption was retaliation against the International Olympic Committee for banning the Russian team from the Winter Games due to doping violations. No officials from Russia’s Olympic federation were allowed to attend, and while some athletes were permitted to compete under the designation “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” they were unable to display the Russian flag on their uniforms and, if they won medals, their country’s anthem was not played.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Ellen Nakashima