Winter Olympics organizers say a cyberattack took down their computer servers during opening ceremonies, Business Insider

A display from the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

A display from the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
NBC Sports Live
  • The attack only affected “non-critical systems,” the organizers said.
  • The cyberattack follows a string of previous incidents involving various Winter Olympics computer systems, including a spying operation that is believed to have originated from North Korea.

Winter Olympics organizers say their omputer servers experienced a cyberattack during opening ceremonies, Yonhap reported on Friday. Officials are trying to figure out who is responsible.

Organizers said that internet-connected televisions crashes at the press center, according to officials cited by the report. The targeted servers were shut down, which also took down the official Winter Olympics website for some time.

The committee said in a statement that the attack only affected “non-critical systems” and said the safety of attendees was not compromised.

“We are currently investigating the cause and will share further information as we have more details,” Sung Baik-you, a spokesperson for the Winter Olympics’ Organizing Committee said.

The Winter Olympics were hit by cyberattacks in the days leading up to the opening ceremony, with some experts estimating that over 300 Olympics-related computer systems were affected.

Though it may take months to figure out who is responsible for the attacks and why they were executed, experts say the evidence points to the “hallmarks of a nation state,” The New York Times reported. In a previous cyberattack, documents from Winter Olympics organizations were stolen and leaked by a campaign tied to Russia, while North Korea has also been suspected of spying on the event’s various organizations, a Wired report said.

“The Olympics involve so many countries, and so many sports, many of which have their own infrastructure, that it has become a rich target environment for many adversaries,” John Hultquist, a director at the cyber security firm FireEye, said in The Times.