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The Winter Olympics’ systems were hacked during Friday’s opening ceremony

A spokesperson for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics organizing committee has confirmed that the Games fell victim to hackers just prior to the opening ceremony.

The website for the Games crashed, with visitors unable to print tickets or view information for about 12 hours. 

Since no official word was forthcoming on the day, speculation was rife that the outage was not accidental. The news of the hack was made official the next day.

"We know the cause of that problem, but [these kinds] of issues occur very frequently during the Olympic Games," Pyeongchang organising committee spokesman Sung Baik-you said on Saturday.

The attack compromised the Games’ internet protocol televisions at the press center. To avoid further damage, organizers shut down the servers, resulting in the website going down.

Whodunnit?

Details of the attack are as yet unclear with the IOC and the organizers remaining tight-lipped about the source. 

"We have decided with the IOC that we are not going to reveal the source," added Sung Baik-you during the press conference. "All issues were resolved and recovered yesterday morning."

The IOC’s head of communication Mark Adams was also unforthcoming regarding the details, saying, “At the moment we are making sure our systems are secure, which they are, so discussing details of it is not helpful.”

Thankfully, the website was up and running again by 8am local time on Saturday morning. Reports have suggested that sponsors were prepared for such an attack, with some having insured themselves against hacking.

[Image courtesy Kārlis Dambrāns]

Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.