PYEONGCHANG — If we’re being honest, the possibility of a North Korean cyberattack on the Olympic Games is much more preferable than certain other kinds of attacks.
Pyeongchang 2018 logo.
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The morning after Internet outages during Friday night’s Opening Ceremony caused much frustration for the many working journalists on site, and the thousands of spectators not wanting to run up their cellphone data charges, the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee (POCOG) acknowledged that it was investigating the problems as a possible targeted attack.
In a statement to media with the wonderfully bland headline “Statement on Technology”, POCOG wrote that “there were some issues that impacted some of our non-critical systems last night for a few hours.” It also apologized for the inconvenience.
Members of team Canada during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
Later, spokesman Sung Baik-you explained to reporters that the “issues” might have been the result of a cyberattack.
“Experts are watching to ensure and maintain any systems at expected service levels. We are currently investigating the cause of the issue. At this time we cannot confirm (a cyberattack),” he added, according to Reuters.
“We are investigating the root cause and we will share more information. All competitions are running as planned.”
Korea’s Yonghap news agency reported that the outages affected Internet-based telecasts at the main press centre at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, and that when officials shut down the dedicated Internet system to investigate, services such as print-at-home tickets became unavailable.
One report suggested this was the cause of empty seats in the stadium, although a colourful lighting system in use for the ceremony made it difficult to tell if apparently empty seats were, in fact, empty.
If the Internet problems on Friday night were the result of an attack and not just the random Internet problems that occur when a large number of users at an event all try to use WiFi at the same time, then the culprit would be likely linked to one of two places: North Korea or Russia.
The Korean peninsula has been divided since a 1953 armistice ended the Korean War, and although relations between the North and South have warmed in recent weeks as the Olympics approached, second-generation despot Kim Jong-un is known to have invested heavily in a growing army of …read more
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