Malware Takes Systems Offline, Disrupting 2018 Winter Olympics
An unknown malware variant infected the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics computer systems. The infection took place right before the opening ceremonies on February 9, 2018. It appears the infection was initiated by an insider who knew various pieces of the networking and credentials needed to successfully infiltrate the systems. According to Ars Technica, the hacker new items such as login credentials, server and network names, as well as passwords.
Once the malware was introduced into the system, it spread throughout the network. All of this occurring, just before the Winter Games opening ceremonies were to begin. The malware took down the official website of the 2018 Winter Olympics, leaving attendees unable to access their tickets or obtain venue information. The website, as well as other networks, including the WiFi were down for approximately 12 hours.
The malware has similar features found in global ransomware attacks that hit last year; however, the exact variant remains unknown. At this time, no breach of personal identifiable information has been announced. Nor have officials reported a ransom demand was made. It appears this may have simply been an attack to embarrass event officials, or a test to see what could be accomplished. The parties responsible are still unknown, although various reports speculate Russia and North Korea may be involved.