In Summary
  • A report by University of California researchers said the efforts to disrupt the 2016 US election should serve as warning about the impact of a cyber-attack on the games.

WASHINGTON

The Olympic Games offer a tempting target for hackers and other malicious actors, with potentially devastating consequences for one of the world's premier sporting events, researchers said Tuesday.

A report by University of California researchers said the efforts to disrupt the 2016 US election should serve as warning about the impact of a cyber-attack on the games.

The report released four months ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Games cited "an increasing supply of opportunities for digital manipulation as sports incorporate new technologies designed to improve athlete training, accessorize the fan experience, and even help officials decide the results."

The researchers said hackers could do damage by infiltrating stadium or scoring systems, or by releasing sensitive data on athletes. Fans or transport systems could also be targeted.

"Most serious would be physical harm caused to the athletes or spectators; in such a case, the event would be overshadowed and likely cancelled as a result of these more serious harms," said the report by the university's Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity.

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