Russia-linked hacker group claims release of documents from International Luge Federation

Russia-linked hacker group claims release of documents from International Luge Federation
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A group believed to be linked to Russian hackers on Wednesday claims to have released documents stolen from the International Luge Federation, the latest sign of hacking efforts targeting the 2018 Winter Games. 

The group, which goes by the name of “Fancy Bears’ Hack Team,” released email and other documents on its website, claiming they demonstrate violations of anti-doping rules. The information has not been independently verified.

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The hacker persona is believed to be connected to “Fancy Bear,” a cyber espionage group that experts have linked to Russian intelligence. Fancy Bear, also known as “Pawn Storm” or APT 28, was implicated in the 2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack. 

The Russia-linked hackers have previously targeted Olympic organizations, leaking sensitive athlete data pilfered from the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2016, after the organization recommended that Russian athletes be banned from the 2016 games in Rio over allegations of state-sponsored doping. 

Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from participating in the 2018 games as a result of the controversy. 

The latest release comes after experts identified the International Luge Federation as one of Fancy Bear’s targets last year. 

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro reported that the group targeted multiple International Olympic Wintersport Federations, including the International Luge Federation, the European Ice Hockey Federation, the International Ski Federation, the International Biathlon Union, and the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation during second half of 2017.

The International Luge Federation did not immediately return a request for comment.

Earlier this month, the Fancy Bears persona leaked purported hacked emails and documents from the International Olympic Committee, describing them as proof “the Europeans and the Anglo-Saxons are fighting for power and cash in the sports world.” 

ThreatConnect, another cyber firm, has separately identified spoofed web domains imitating the World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Olympic Council of Asia that were consistent with prior Fancy Bear operations.