His government United Kingdom said yesterday that Russian hackers were preparing cyber-attacks against the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were to take place in the summer, before being postponed for next year due to its pandemic COVID-19. According to a press release issued by the National Cyber Security Center of the United Kingdom (NCSC), the Russian hackers were planning reconnaissance operations. The companies that orchestrated were aimed at the organizers of the Games, services logistics and sponsors.
The British authorities believe that the Russian hackers of the "Sandworm" team wanted to sabotage the Olympic Games, as happened with the cyber attacks they carried out against the organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics held in South Korea. Specifically, in February 2018, Russian hackers developed the OlympicDestroyer malware which disrupted their web servers during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
The UK statement coincided with the announcement of formal charges against six Sandworm members by the Department of Justice. USA (DoJ). According to ZDNet, US officials have accused Sandworm hackers of orchestrating not only attacks with OlympicDestroyer targeting the 2018 Olympics, but also a series of many other attacks. At attacks carried out by the Russian hacking group includes the following:
- Attempts to sabotage Ukraine's network in 2015 and 2016 with BlackEnergy and Industroyer malware
- Attempts to sabotage Ukraine's government networks with KillDisk malware
- Creation of NotPetya ransomware that hit countries globally in June 2017
- Intervention in French elections of 2017
- Orchestrating cyber-attacks against poison research organizations Novichok in the UK
- defacing thousands of Georgia sites in 2019
U.S. officials say Russian hackers were behind the attacks by Sandworm, which consists of unit 74455 of the Russian Central Intelligence Agency (GRU), a Russian military intelligence service.
In a statement, the UK government officially confirmed the US allegations and expressed concern about attacks planned by Russian hackers on Sandworm targeting the Tokyo Olympics organizers.