Russia-linked hackers apparently targeting 2018 Olympics

Russia-linked hackers apparently targeting 2018 Olympics
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New evidence has emerged that hackers linked to the Russian government are targeting Olympic organizations just weeks before the start of the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. 

On Wednesday, a group calling themselves “Fancy Bears” released purported hacked emails and documents from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The group is believed to be associated with the similarly named group Fancy Bear, the cyber-espionage group that has been linked to Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. 

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Fancy Bear, also known as APT 28, has been implicated in the hack of the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

The group claims that hacked information from the IOC, which has not been verified, is proof “that the Europeans and the Anglo-Saxons are fighting for power and cash in the sports world.” 

Relatedly, cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect said Thursday that it had identified spoofed domains imitating the World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and the Olympic Council of Asia consistent with prior hacking campaigns linked to Fancy Bear. 

The discovery of the domains, the firm said in a blog post, raises “the question of a broader campaign against the upcoming 2018 winter games.” 

ThreatConnect said that it could not verify the legitimacy of the emails leaked by Fancy Bears, but noted that the group was likely formed to leak information generated from Fancy Bear/APT 28 operations.

“These suspicious domains have consistencies with other previously identified Fancy Bear infrastructure and raise the question of a broader campaign against the upcoming 2018 winter games,” ThreatConnect said. 

“At this time, we cannot confirm whether these domains have been used maliciously nor definitively tie them to Fancy Bear without additional data,” the firm said. “ThreatConnect has notified the spoofed organizations.” 

The developments follow the International Olympic Committee’s decision to bar Russia’s Olympic team from the 2018 Winter Games over state-sponsored doping allegations. 

Fancy Bears similarly released hacked emails in 2016 from officials at the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Anti Doping Agency.