The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea were hit by what is being described as a cyber attack during Friday’s opening ceremonies.
According to reports, a number of problems were experienced at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium where reporters lost wireless internet access as well as televisions in the main press center and the official website was temporarily down.
The issues were shortly resolved and while organizers are only this morning confirming the breach of security they are not as of yet identifying the suspected source.
Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizers confirmed on Sunday that the Games had fallen victim to a cyber attack during Friday’s opening ceremony, but they refused to reveal the source.
The Games’ systems, including the internet and television services, were affected by the hack two days ago but organizers said it had not compromised any critical part of their operations.
“Maintaining secure operations is our purpose,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams.
“We are not going to comment on the issue. It is one we are dealing with. We are making sure our systems are secure and they are secure.”
Asked if organizers knew who was behind the attack, Adams said: “I certainly don’t know. But best international practice says that you don’t talk about an attack.”
The Winter Games are being staged only 80km (50 miles) from the border with North Korea, which is technically still at war with the South since their 1950-1953 war ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
The two teams marched together at an Olympics opening ceremony for the first time since 2006.
South Korea has been using the Pyeongchang Games to break the ice with the reclusive North, which has been trading nuclear threats with the United States recently.
“All issues were resolved and recovered yesterday morning,” Pyeongchang organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you told reporters.
It won’t likely take long for the Russians to be blamed for the “attack” because that is just the way that we roll in the hysterical era of conspiracy theories on election meddling and the drive to instigate a very lucrative new Cold War.
Winter Olympics officials have confirmed the games were hit by a cyber-attack during the opening ceremony – but have refused to confirm rumours in Pyeongchang that Russia was responsible.
Shortly before the ceremony, the official Pyeongchang 2018 site stopped working, with users unable to access information or print tickets for events. The website was only normalised at 8am on Saturday, 12 hours later.
The wifi in the Pyeonchang Olympic stadium also stopped working along with televisions and internet at the main press centre.
There are growing concerns the cyber-attack was Russian in origin, and was a response to the fact the Russian Olympic committee was banned from the games in December – along with nearly 200 Russian athletes – because of state-sponsored doping at .
Pyeongchang 2018 spokesperson Sung Baik-you refused to confirm the country behind the attack but said: “There was a cyber-attack and the server was updated yesterday during the day and we have the cause of the problem.
“They know what happened and this is a usual thing during the Olympic Games. We are not going to reveal the source.
“We are taking secure operations and, in line with best practice, we’re not going to comment on the issue because it is an issue that we are dealing with,” he said.
“We wouldn’t start giving you the details of an investigation before it is coming to an end, particularly if it was on security which, at these games, is incredibly important.”
Fortunately, it was only the equipment in the press center and the website.
Nerves have already been on edge due to ongoing tensions with North Korea and cooler heads should conduct a thorough investigation before the usual suspects are able to blame it on President Trump for not being tough enough on Putin. You just know that’s coming, too.