Report: Russia Hacked Olympic Computers and Tried to Blame it on North Korea

AP Russian Flag

Russian hackers and military spies hacked their way into scores of computers at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to the Washington Post.

The Russian hackers then attempted to cover their tracks by planting false evidence which suggested that the North Koreans had performed the attack. U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to the  Washington Post anonymously, claimed that the Russian “false-flag” operation had several side-effects: including interference with broadcasts internet, and ticket services.

What could provoke the Russians to launch such a large scale attack? According to the Post, “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.

“As of early February, the Russian military agency GRU had access to as many as 300 Olympic-related computers, according to an intelligence report this month.”

As The Hill notes, “The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment to the Post, and the intelligence has not yet been publicly acknowledged.

“The reported attempt to blame North Korea for the intrusion comes amid unprecedented cooperation between North and South Korea during the games, which featured a joint team representing athletes from both nations for the first time.”

Though this attack is really only the latest, most technologically advanced example of Russia’s attempts to sabotage the Olympics.

As Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University told the Post, “During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Soviet intelligence released fake Ku Klux Klan leaflets threatening violence against African athletes as part of an effort to embarrass the United States, he said. That year, the Soviets led a 14-nation boycott of the Games in retaliation for a U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow, which was prompted by the Soviets’ 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.”

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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