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Hackers Target Winter Olympic Games in S. Korea

Hackers Target Winter Olympic Games in S. KoreaHackers Target Winter Olympic Games in S. Korea

Hackers have begun targeting the Pyeongchang Olympic Games with malware-infected emails which may be aimed at stealing passwords or financial information.

The security firm, McAfee, said in a report that several organizations associated with the Olympics had received the malicious email with the primary target being groups affiliated with ice hockey, AFP reported.

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

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

In the attacks, which began on December 22, emails were “spoofed” to make them appear to come from South Korea’s National Counter-Terrorism Center, which was in the process of conducting anti-terror drills in the region in preparation for the games.

McAfee 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 the ministry of agriculture and forestry and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” according to the report.

The malware in some cases was hidden in text, and later in an image -- a technique known as steganography, according to McAfee, which is the practice of concealing a file, message, image or video within another file, message, image or video.

“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,” McAfee said.

“With the upcoming Olympics, we expect to see an increase in cyber attacks using Olympics-related themes,” the report said. “In similar past cases, the victims were targeted for their passwords and financial information.”

Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games is set to take place February 9-25 in South Korea.

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