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Hackers already targeting 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics: McAfee report

McAfee said the emails came in fact from an address in Singapore, and instructed the readers to open a text document in Korean

AFP | PTI  |  Washington 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Hackers have already begun targeting the Pyeongchang with malware-infected emails which may be aimed at stealing passwords or financial information, researchers have said.

The security firm said in a report that several organisations associated with the had received the malicious email with the primary target being groups affiliated with ice hockey.

"The majority of these organizations (targeted) had some association with the Olympics, either in providing infrastructure or in a supporting role," the report said.

"The attackers appear to be casting a wide net with this campaign."

In the attacks, which began as early as December 22, emails were "spoofed" to make them appear to come from South Korea's National Counter-Center, which was in the process of conducting antiterror drills in the region in preparation for the Games.

said the emails came in fact from an address in Singapore, and instructed the readers to open a text document in Korean.

The document was titled "Organized by and Forestry and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics," according to the report.

The in some cases was hidden in text, and later in an image — a technique known as steganography, according to

"Based on our analysis, this implant establishes an encrypted channel to the attacker's server, likely giving the attacker the ability to execute commands on the victim's machine and to install additional malware," said.

said it expects more attacks of this nature, echoing warnings last year from University of researchers of increasing targeting of sporting events.

"With the upcoming Olympics, we expect to see an increase in cyberattacks using Olympics-related themes," the report said.

"In similar past cases, the victims were targeted for their passwords and financial information.

First Published: Sun, January 07 2018. 11:37 IST
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