The organisers of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have confirmed that the games were subject to a cyberattack during the opening ceremony. However, the committee has declined to reveal the source of the attack; despite apparently knowing who the culprits are.
Organisers said that services like television and internet systems were affected, but the attackers failed to gain access to any critical part of their operations. That said, the official servers were disconnected briefly to defend against the attack; taking the Olympics website down temporarily.
Russia is currently the most obvious culprit behind the attack. The country is already suspected of hacking the World Anti-Doping Agency back in 2016; roughly around the time at which a large number of its athletes were banned for taking performance enhancing drugs. It is also the only country banned from participating in this year’s event.
In it’s defence, Russia had pre-emptively said that it would have nothing to do with any cyberattack on the 2018 Winter Games – several days before it actually happened. Its Foreign Ministry already claimed that “We know that Western media are planning pseudo-investigations on the theme of ‘Russian fingerprints’ in hacking attacks on information resources related to the hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in the Republic of Korea.”
The other usual culprit, North Korea, is unlikely to be behind this particular attack. Not while being in the middle of a massive charm offensive against its southern neighbour. Both Koreas have agreed to field a combined ice hockey team, and had marched out in the opening ceremony under a united banner.