It has been reported that Microsoft Corp said it has tracked “significant” cyberattacks coming from a group it calls “Strontium” or “Fancy Bear”, targeting anti-doping authorities and global sporting organisations. At least 16 national and international sporting and anti-doping organisations across three continents were targeted in the attacks which began on Sept. 16, according to the company. The company said some of these attacks had been successful, but the majority had not. Microsoft has notified all customers targeted in these attacks.
It should come as no surprise that Russia is using all its tools of the state to win. After all, hundreds of Russian athletes have been banned over the years for doping at previous Olympics. Once a cheat always a cheat. And what better way to bring a smile to the face of Putin than threw the potentially embarrassing release of PII on American, British, German or French athletes. Russia has historically used subterfuge, doping, espionage and clandestine options for everything from cheating in sports to rigging elections. It should come as no surprise that they are seeking an unfair advantage in a domain of competition like the Olympics. With population pressure and declining influence, this is a logical move and it\’s no surprise that we see them in the Crimea, in foreign elections and now selling Olympic gold in 2020 by hook or crook. Expect more of this with hacking combined with espionage, bribery, blackmail, kidnapping and more. Once someone has broken the rules of engagement to pursue a victory at any cost, the on-ramp to a super highway of more nefarious activity is open.