The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has condemned Russian hackers for leaking confidential medical files of star US Olympic athletes. Athletes affected include tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and teenage gymnast Simone Biles. A group calling itself “Fancy Bears” claimed responsibility for the hack of a Wada database. Mark James, Security Specialist at ESET commented below.
Mark James, Security Specialist at ESET:
“Data breaches come in all shapes and sizes and cause varying degrees of damage, the most common of course is more of your private data (usernames, passwords, DOB, addresses etc.) making its way onto the internet but sometimes data breaches are malicious in a different way, this particular breach involved private medical info about athletes in the US, any breach is of course bad but when it comes to very personal info it can have far reaching effects and sadly once this info is released its out, there’s no changing it or indeed un-reading it, these types of attacks are often instigated through phishing attacks and this one was believed to be a targeted version called Spearphishing, this is particular difficult to combat against as its tailored in such a way to target one or two individuals and designed to fool you with specific amount of information relevant to that person, because of this it has a high success rate and extremely difficult to defend against, you have to be pro-active and treat emails and correspondence with a level of scepticism, these types of attacks are often done extremely well and sometimes it’s only the smallest amount of information that will alert you.”