Russian hackers carried out subversive activities and prepared a cyberattack aimed at disrupting the 2020 Olympic Games, which were to take place this summer in Tokyo. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom stated this.
The UK’s National Cybersecurity Centre conducted a joint operation with US experts, which led to the conclusion that Russian Military Intelligence Unit 74455 carried out “cyber intelligence” against officials and logistics services involved in the Games preparation, as well as against its sponsors. Some of the attacks were aimed at agencies that investigate doping by Russian athletes.
The Russian hackers ran their activity until the Olympic Games postponement to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the case, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab did not inform whether the Russian intelligence attacks were successful but said these activities included the creation of fake websites and online accounts that pretended to be the key people for future hacking attempts.
“The GRU’s actions against the Olympic and Paralympic Games are cynical and unreasonable. We condemn them the most strongly. The United Kingdom and its partners will continue to work to detect and counter future malicious cyberattacks,” he said.
He added that the Foreign Ministry’s statement was agreed with international partners as a part of efforts to “challenges and countering” Russia’s actions in cyberspace. The United States is expected to make a similar statement later.
Currently, Japan does not comment on the reports about Russian intelligence cyberattacks. The Government’s General Secretary Katsunobu Kato said that the country’s authorities had received the message from the British side and “collect information and analyse everything related to cyberspace.”
At the same time, the organising committee of the Olympic Games stated that “digital platforms which belong to the organising committee are constantly under attack of different scales, but there has been no damage that could significantly affect the work in recent years.”