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Winter Olympics cyber-attack: Security researchers uncovers malware

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Some security researchers in the United States have been reported to have uncovered the malware that struck the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Organizers of the Winter Olympics on Sunday confirmed the games fell victim to a cyber-attack during the opening ceremony of the games on Friday, but refused to reveal the source.

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Researchers with cybersecurity firms Cisco Systems, CrowdStrike and FireEye said in blog posts on Monday that they had analysed computer code they believed was used in the Friday’s attack.

All three security companies pointed to ‘Olympic Destroyer’ malware, and said it was designed to knock computers offline by deleting critical system files, which would render the machines useless.

The three firms said they did not know who was behind the attack.

“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,” Cisco said in its blog.

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The attack took the Olympics website offline, which meant that some people could not print out tickets and WiFi used by reporters covering the games did not work during the opening ceremony, according to Cisco.

The attack did not affect the performance of drones, which were initially scheduled to be included in the opening ceremony, but later pulled from the program, organizers said in a statement.

The drone light show was cancelled because there were too many spectators standing in the area where it was supposed to take place, the statement said.

 

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