Russians may be planning hack to cast shadow on Olympics: researchers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A Virginia-based cybersecurity firm stated on Thursday it had discovered early indications that Russia-based totally hackers may be planning assaults in opposition to anti-doping agencies in retaliation for Russia’s exclusion from Next month’s Iciness Olympic Video Games.

Researchers from ThreatConnect Inc stated that inside the earlier month unknown people had registered three net domains that mimic those of the sector Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Company and the Olympic Council of Asia.

The moves bore similarities to the strategies that a Russian hacking crew often called Fancy Endure used up to now, the cybersecurity agency stated in a Document.

Fancy Undergo Used To Be blamed for an Olympics-associated hack in 2016, when the sector Anti-Doping Company stated the group Used To Be answerable for stealing and publishing exclusive medical information about U.S. Olympic athletes.

The Global Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Russian embassy in Washington didn’t right away reply to requests for comment.

ThreatConnect said there Was Once no proof that hackers had used the online domains maliciously, however that the domains may provide the building blocks for future attacks.

Domains that imitate, or “spoof,” reputable internet sites are a common tactic employed by hackers for various kinds of assaults, comparable to gaining access to e mail bills.

The imitation domains “carry the query of a broader campaign against the upcoming 2018 Wintry Weather Video Games,” ThreatConnect stated.

Subsequent month’s Video Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are expected to draw international attention, making the experience a doubtlessly treasured target for hackers amid a politically charged ambiance.

The IOC final month banned the Russian Nationwide workforce from the Wintry Weather Video Games for what it referred to as “remarkable systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system, despite the fact that it allowed Russian athletes with a clean history of non-doping to compete underneath a impartial flag.

Western governments and security specialists have linked the hacking team known as Fancy Endure or APT28 to a Russian secret agent Company, and have blamed it for operations including an assault on the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 U.S. elections.

Additional raising expectations of an Olympics-related attack, a Twitter account that ThreatConnect stated Was most likely tied to Fancy Bear stated on Wednesday it had bought correspondence belonging to IOC officers.

A second U.S.-primarily based security agency, McAfee, said on Monday that its safety researchers had received a malicious electronic mail targeting companies involved with the Pyeongchang Video Games.

McAfee didn’t cite a potential supply for the e-mail, but brought: “With the upcoming Olympics, we predict to look a rise in cyberattacks the use of Olympics-related topics.”

Reporting by means of David Ingram; Further reporting by Suzanne Barlyn in new york; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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