×

‘Olympic Destroyer’ Cyberattack Disrupted Pyeongchang Opening Ceremony

Hackers targeting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games managed to disrupt internet and TV operations during Friday’s opening ceremony using malware dubbed “Olympic Destroyer,” security researchers said.

The perpetrators of the cyberattack on computer, internet and broadcast systems in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have not been identified. The signatures of the attack indicated a link to Russian hacking group, Wired and other outlets reported.

The “Olympic Destroyer” virus resulted in interruptions to Wi-Fi access and telecasts and temporarily took down Pyeongchang2018.com on Friday, which prevented many attendees on-site from accessing and printing out tickets to the ceremony. No critical Olympics systems or data were compromised by the attack, which appeared intended mainly to cause chaos and confusion.

“Disruption is the clear objective in this type of attack and it leaves us confident in thinking that the actors behind this were after embarrassment of the Olympic committee during the opening ceremony,” researchers with Cisco Systems’ Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group wrote in a blog post Monday.

The Talos researchers found that the malware payload included 44 usernames and passwords for Olympic staff members, although they said it wasn’t clear how the initial infection occurred.

The Talos researchers provided a detailed technical analysis of the malware in the blog post, noting that it was created to render target computers unusable by deleting shadow copies, event logs and trying to use remote-control applications PsExec and Windows Management Instrumentation “to further move through the environment.”

According to cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, analysis of the malware indicated the planning for the attack began at least starting in December, given the Dec. 27 timestamp on the virus created to hit the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Last month, CrowdStrike reported that it had identified a sophisticated “spear-phishing” effort targeting specific individuals involved in or supporting the Olympic Winter Games.

More Digital

  • Asian Streamer Iflix Completes $50 Million

    Asian Streamer Iflix Completes $50 Million Fund Raising

    Asia-based streaming firm Iflix has completed its latest funding round by bringing in major institutional investor Fidelity. The company says it is now looking towards an IPO. Iflix, which has operations across 12 countries in Asia, says that the funding cycle brought in “well in excess of $50 million,” but provided few new details. Other [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Department of Justice

    DOJ Announces Antitrust Review of Tech Giants

    In a move that could potentially disrupt Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, the U.S. Justice Department announced that its antitrust division opened a review into “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power.” The DOJ, in its announcement Tuesday, didn’t identify which companies it is looking into as part of the investigation. Facebook, Amazon, Google [...]

  • Snap Inc

    Snap Stock Skyrockets as Company Adds 13 Million Daily Active Users in Q2

    Share prices for Snapchat’s corporate parent Snap Inc. shot up as much as 13% in after-hours trading Tuesday on news that Snapchat added 13 million daily active users in Q2 of 2019. The service ended the quarter with 203 million users, compared to 190 million at the end of Q1, and 188 million in Q2 [...]

  • jbl link bar

    JBL Finally Releases Its Android TV-powered Smart Sound Bar

    Over a year after first announcing it, Samsung subsidiary Harman is finally releasing its JBL Link Bar, a smart sound bar that comes with Android TV built-in. The new device effectively doubles as a smart speaker, and does away with the need for any additional streaming devices. Google and Harman / JBL first announced the [...]

  • Inverse-BDG

    Bustle Digital Buys Digital-Media Startup Inverse, Its Eighth Acquisition to Date

    Bustle Digital Group, continuing its strategy of snapping up smaller digital-media players, has acquired Inverse, geared toward an young-male audience with content about science, tech and culture. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. BDG founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg is well-acquainted with Inverse, which was founded in 2015 by CEO Dave Nemetz — who previously [...]

  • Pandora voice mode

    Pandora Launches Voice Mode for Everyone

    After first launching a limited beta earlier this year, Pandora opened up its mobile voice control to all of its iOS and Android users Tuesday. The new feature allows users to ask for songs, albums, playlists, stations, and even soundtracks for activities or times of day, with simple voice commands. Pandora’s voice mode is similar [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content