Gerry Pennell, the chief information officer (CIO) in charge with cyber security at the London 2012 Olympics, revealed that all previous events had been targeted by hackers and he’s certain that this year will be no different.
According to The Guardian, the organizers are working with their partners and government agencies to ensure that they’ll be ready for whatever cybercriminals throw at them.
Atos Origin, the firm that’s in charge with online security, has the difficult task of protecting 90 locations and important data that could ruin the entire event if hackers gained access and altered it.
The chief executive of Atos Origin Iberia, Patrick Adiba, stated that the Beijing Games were targeted by around 400 events that might have posed a serious security risk, but 400 is a fairly low number if the timespan of the event is taken into consideration.
While the organizers fear embarrassment in case they fail to protect the massive quantity of data, experts say that situations where major sports events were disrupted by cyberattacks are rare. However, as F-Secure’s Mikko Hypponen says, “nobody is going to question an investment in security.”
Graham Cluley of Sophos believes that there are plenty of reasons why hackers would target the systems used during the Games.
“Clearly the computer systems will have personal information about a large number of sportspeople which could be a target for identity thieves. Also, there are the details about the spectators – those need to be held securely,” he said.
Hacktivists may also target the event to post protest messages, but another major concern is represented by the scams that will start spreading as the Olympics approach.
Facebook and every other social media website, not to mention email addresses, will surely be bombarded with phishing schemes and other malicious operations.