Russia behind 'reckless' cyber attacks against 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Russian military intelligence carried out ‘cynical and reckless’ cyber attacks against officials and organisations involved in 2020 Tokyo Olympics after its athletes were banned over doping
- Government says it has evidence the GRU carried out ‘cyber reconnaissance’
- Targets included organisers, logistics services and sponsors of the games
- Took place before the decision was taken to postpone games to 2021
Britain today accused Russian military intelligence of carrying out a wave of ‘cynical and reckless’ cyber attacks targeting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said there was evidencethat the GRU carried out ‘cyber reconnaissance’ against organisers, logistics services and sponsors of the Olympics and Paralympics before they were postponed to next year.
The Foreign Office said that the same Russian hackers also targeted the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea, including pretending to be working for North Korea and China in an attack on the opening ceremony.
Both attacks came after Russia was banned from taking part in the respective games because of state-sponsored doping scandals.
British officials said Unit 74455 of the GRU was involved. They declined to give further details about the types of attacks or whether they were successful, but said the activity included creating fake websites and online accounts posing as key individuals to use in future hacking attempts.
Mr Raab today said: ‘The GRU’s actions against the Olympic and Paralympic Games are cynical and reckless. We condemn them in the strongest possible terms.
Mr Raab today said: ‘The GRU’s actions against the Olympic and Paralympic Games are cynical and reckless. We condemn them in the strongest possible terms’
The British Government says it has evidence that the GRU carried out ‘cyber reconnaissance’ against organisers, logistics services and sponsors of the Olympics and Paralympics before they were postponed to next year
The Foreign Office says that Russian hackers also targeted the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea, including pretending to be working for North Korea and China in an attack on the opening ceremony (pictured)
‘The UK will continue to work with our allies to call out and counter future malicious cyber attacks.’
The FCDO said that the attack on the Pyeongchang games also targeted broadcasters, a ski resort, Olympic officials and sponsors of the games, using ‘data-deletion malware against the Winter Games IT systems and targeted devices across the Republic of Korea using VPNFilter’.
Both attacks were carried out by the GRU’s Main Centre for Special Technologies (GTsST).
Russia’s latest ban was handed down last December, barring athletes from competing for four years over doping under its colours, including at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, when they take place next year.
It came almost exactly two years after a similar ban stoped Russia from being represented in Pyeongchang.
It means the Russian flag and national anthem will also not be allowed at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the Beijing Winter Olympics.
But athletes untainted by the scandal will be allowed to compete independently under a neutral flag, as was the case during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and last summer’s World Athletics Championships in Doha.
The World Anti-Doping Agency executive committee confirmed the decision at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The committee reached a unanimous decision to punish Russia after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory.
At the time Kremlin sports minister Pavel Kolobkov attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues and said the ban was politically motivated.
The state-run doping programme was exposed by media and WADA investigations after Russia hosted the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
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