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Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 : 2.5 times more cyber attacks than the London Olympics.

  •   2 min reads
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 : 2.5 times more cyber attacks than the London Olympics.

Nearly 3 months after the end of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Japanese company Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, published a report, describing the multiple attempts of cyber attacks. After problems in 2012 and 2018, none of these attacks were successful this year.

Two competitions took place during the Olympics, one on the front of the stage and one behind the scenes.

The Japanese company, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone ( NTT ), which provided large-scale telecommunications and network security services for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, reports that more than 450 million cyberattack attempts took place during the event from July 23 to August 8.

NTT officials say none of those attacks were successful. They added that the games went off without a hitch. But the number of attacks was 2.5 times higher than the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

As a reminder, during the London Olympics in 2012, a false alarm had taken place during the opening ceremony, with the fear that all the lights of the stadium would go out. All the services of intelligence and security, had been reinforced after this false alarm.

According to Le Monde, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, had been affected by cyberattacks. The website of the competition had notably remained inaccessible during twelve hours, while the Internet network and the televisions of the press room had stopped working.

An 24-hour surveillance

In total, this year, more than 200 cybersecurity specialists worked day and night to ensure the security of the event throughout the competition.

"Sports events like the Olympics, the Tour de France and the Indy 500, for example, are the very definition of real-time environments," says Andrea MacLean, an employee of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone.

Once you start, there's no room for downtime. And with a highly distributed team and limited physical presence, agile technologies that can respond to all threats are essential.

Of those 450 million attacks, NTT said in their report, Emotet malware, email spoofing, phishing, as well as fake websites, were among the most popular methods.

These infrastructures also included 5G, "as all gaming sites have been shifted to 5G mobile networks after the start of commercial services in Japan earlier in 2021," says Andrea MacLean.

In fact, the company believes it has been able to hold the perimeter thanks to four key factors: Threat intelligence and monitoring; total security solutions, quality employee training and awareness programs; and stakeholder management.

An example for the future

All of these security measures put in place since the 2012 London Olympics will also be needed in less than 3 years in France. With the Olympic Games coming up in 2024, security and cybersecurity issues are at the center of the debate given the challenge that the organizers expect.

Notably because for the first time in the history of the modern Olympic Games, the opening ceremony will not take place in the Olympic Stadium. Indeed, the ceremony should be held in the heart of Paris, all along the Seine and should attract more than two hundred thousand spectators.

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