According to U.S. intelligence, while trying to make it seem as though the attack was conducted by North Korea, what is perceived as a “false-flag” operation, said two U.S. executives who spoke on the situation of anonymity to discuss a delicate matter.
Officials in PyeongChang thanked that the Games were hit by a cyber attack through the Feb. 9 Opening Celebrations but had refused to confirm whether Russia was subject. That evening there was interruptions to the Internet, broadcast systems, and the Olympics website. Many attendees were inadequate to print their tickets for the ceremony, following in empty seats.
Analysts surmise the confusion was retaliation against the International Olympic Committee for preventing the Russian team from the Winter Games due to doping invasions. No officials from Russia’s Olympic federation were supported to attend, and while some athletes were allowed to compete under the designation “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” they were powerless to display the Russian flag on their clothes and, if they won medals, their country’s song was not played.
As of early February, the Russian military agency GRU had entrance to as many as 300 Olympic-related computers, according to an intelligence report this month.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence refused to comment.
The intelligence, which has not been plainly affirmed, is consistent with reports from private-sector analysts who have stated they saw signs Russia had targeted the 2018 Olympics. It also would continue a pattern of such attempts, including during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Some U.S. officials are concerned the Russians may try to disrupt the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday. “We’re following it pretty closely,” said one. “It’s essentially a Korean problem,” the official added. “We will help the Koreans as requested.”
Apart from entering the computers, GRU cyber-operators also cut routers in South Korea last month and deployed new malware on the day the Olympics began, according to Western intelligence agencies. Such access could enable statistics collection or network attacks, officials said.
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