13 Feb 2018

'Olympic Destroyer' virus sabotages Games opening ceremony

2:32 pm on 13 February 2018

Several U.S. cyber security firms say they have uncovered a computer virus dubbed "Olympic Destroyer" that was likely used in an attack on the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Games Organizers confirmed the attack earlier this week saying affected internet and television services.

Organizers did not say who was behind the attack or provide detailed discussion of the malware, though a spokesman said that all issues had been resolved.

Researchers with cyber security firms Cisco Systems Inc , CrowdStrike and FireEye Inc said in blog posts and statements to Reuters on Monday that they had analysed computer code they believed was used in Friday's attack.

All three security companies said the Olympic Destroyer malware was designed to knock computers offline by deleting critical system files, which would render the machines useless.

The three firms said they did not know who was behind the attack.

The Olympic Flame is carried up to the cauldron to be lit by South Korean athletes.

The Olympic Flame is carried up to the cauldron to be lit by South Korean athletes. Photo: Photosport

"Disruption is the clear objective in this type of attack and it leaves us confident in thinking that the actors behind this were after embarrassment of the Olympic committee during the opening ceremony," Cisco said in its blog.

The attack took the Olympics website offline, which meant that some people could not print out tickets and WiFi used by reporters covering the games did not work during the opening ceremony, according to Cisco.

The attack did not affect the performance of drones, which were initially scheduled to be included in the opening ceremony, but later pulled from the program, organizers said in a statement.

The drone light show was cancelled because there were too many spectators standing in the area where it was supposed to take place, the statement said