Russian mobsters may work with Russian government officials to exploit the state’s vast spying apparatus during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games to get intelligence about athletes and teams that they could use to make “smart” wager and/or help the “home” team. There are also fears that, in events where it could be possible, they could also try to impact the outcome of events.
According to a report in The Globe and Mail, Russia’s spying apparatus will likely be “exploited for competitive advantage, political-economic intelligence, hints of sedition, identity theft and manufacturing future access.” Journalists in Sochi have noted that their electronic devices have been hacked the minute they were turned on, and the publication notes that it is “reasonable to assume that all phone calls, e-mail, texts, web browsing, online banking and access to voice mail will be intercepted and exploited” because in Sochi, “the confidentially and integrity of any computer or device can be compromised with momentary physical access” and “personal contacts and account passwords on a laptop or cellphone can be harvested in seconds.”
Strategy discussed in team dressing rooms or over the airwaves will be subject to eavesdropping, whereas team radio communications are also vulnerable to electronic warfare tactics: deception, spoofing, interference or jamming at critical moments during play. Anti-doping systems that track athletes’ whereabouts provide potential indirect exposure.
Consider that Russian security services share a cozy relationship with organized crime, who stand to benefit from information collected from the state espionage infrastructure. Consequently, banking and identification information are at also at risk.