(SEOUL, South Korea.) The official #PyeongChang Winter Olympics website was taken offline after being hit by a cyber-attack, officials have confirmed: The site was affected just before the beginning of the opening ceremony: Security professor says he would not comment until code was analysed and IOC said they would not be commenting at present time on the hackers #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.13: A cyberattack paralyzed internet networks at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in what appeared to be a bid to embarrass the organisers: Hacking caused both LAN and WiFi communications to fail during the opening ceremony on Feb.09 and prevented tickets from being printed from the Olympics website, according to Yu Chae-yeon, a spokeswoman for the Pyeongchang Winter Games #AceNewsDesk reports

The systems were restored at around 8 a.m. the following day and organizers are investigating who was behind the attack, she said: The incident underscores the threat of hacking even as South Korea organized a team of experts well before the event started. Due to the ad hoc nature of cyber operations at the Olympics, the event is more vulnerable to hackers who exploit the lack of security discipline among personnel brought together from different organizations, said Hwang Jun-won, a professor of cyber security at South Korea’s Hoseo Technical College………“Anything that is run temporarily carries risks because not everyone is working hand in glove,” Hwang said. “This hurts the public credibility of the Pyeongchang Olympics given how important networks are in running such a massive event.”Hwang wouldn’t point to any suspect without analysing the code first…………………But he wouldn’t rule out the involvement of players from North Korea and Russia. Even though this year’s Winter Olympics drew a high-level delegation from North Korea, it has been blamed in past attacks in South Korea and has a history of making provocations while offering an olive branch, he said……….Russia was banned over a doping scandal with some athletes from the country competing as individuals………………….Calls to the chief technical engineer at Pyeongchang for comment went unanswered………………………The hackers knew usernames, server names and passwords used for the Olympic Games infrastructure, Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence division wrote on its blog, saying it identified 44 individual accounts in the code…………Samples of the “Olympic Destroyer” indicate the hackers did not try to steal information. Rather, analysis shows they performed only “destructive” functions.“The samples identified, however, are not from adversaries looking for information from the games but instead they are aimed to disrupt the games,” it said on the blog. “It leaves us confident in thinking that the actors behind this were after embarrassment of the Olympic committee during the opening ceremony.” The site was affected just before the beginning of the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea……………….TV and internet systems at the Games were also disrupted, though operations were restored about 12 hours later.

However, a spokesman said that the International Olympic Committee would not be commenting on who might have been behind the incident: “Maintaining secure operations is our purpose,” said Mark Adams……….He added that the issue was being dealt with but that he was not aware who had carried out the attack.

Russia responds:

Prior to the Games, some cyber-security experts had expressed concern that countries like Russia and North Korea might try to target the event.

But the Russian Foreign Ministry has denied rumours that Russian hackers were involved.

“We know that Western media are planning pseudo-investigations on the theme of ‘Russian fingerprints’ in hacking attacks on information resources related to the hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in the Republic of Korea,” the foreign ministry said.

“Of course, no evidence will be presented to the world.”

There have been concerns for months that the Games and spectators could be targeted by cyber-attacks.

Earlier this month, the US Department of Homeland Security published a warning to travellers.

“At high-profile events, cyber-activists may take advantage of the large audience to spread their message,” it said.

“There is also the possibility that mobile or other communications will be monitored.”

The Pyeongchang Games are certainly not the first to be targeted by hackers.

In January, Konstantinos Karagiannis, BT’s chief technology officer for security consulting, tweeted that during the 2012 London Olympics he and his team, “fought back quite a cyber-onslaught”………Winter Olympics hit by cyber-attack http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43030673➖ @bbcnewsasia ➖

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