"No proof" Sochi games vulnerable to hackers


by Claire Vanner| 07 February 2014

No additional threat to internet users at the games, say experts.

With the Winter Olympics commencing in tonight, there have been various warnings highlighting the cyber security risks from people using their mobile devices and computers in Sochi.

However, industry analysts and experts have said it's important to understand that these threats are not isolated to Sochi; they could happen to anyone, anywhere.

High-Tech Bridge's CEO, Ilia Kolochenko, said that nowadays DDoS attacks are very common.

"Almost every minute a new DDoS attack targets someone for political, economical or other reasons. For the moment, we don't have any proof that Sochi's games' IT infrastructure is vulnerable, but putting down several hundred websites in a specific country can be done quite easily from anywhere in the world.

"As the games start, attendees and stakeholders should pay particular attention to their cyber security and privacy, as such events always attract the attention of hackers who can cause more harm than a short DDoS attack," he said.

Similarly, Paul Proctor, vice president at Gartner, pointed out that it's important to remember that people are not really "safe" anywhere, and that your behaviour is the deciding factor in your risk of being hacked, regardless of your location.

Procter disagreed with NBC News, who warned; "Visitors to Russia can expect to get hacked. It's not a matter of if, but when."

He claims this is "equally true at your local Starbucks as it is in Sochi."

"None of this requires you (or the hackers) to be in Russia. In fact, I'll bet the "Russians" they were hacked by were smart enough to route their traffic through compromised machines in China."

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