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Russian hackers leak confidential medical info on US Olympic athletes

People are the weakest link in cybersecurity. The more targeted the attack, the higher the chances the user will fall victim to the scam. So, it’s no surprise that US Olympic athletes are the most recent victims of spear phishing attacks.

Spear phishing is hard to detect because of its precision targeting. The hacker will thoroughly research the victim to make the email seem as genuine as possible.

Confidential medical information belonging to US gymnast Simone Biles and tennis players Serena and Venus Williams has been leaked following an attack by Russian hackers, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced.

Accused of taking an “illicit psycho-stimulant,” Simone Biles admitted having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), for which she had received permission from WADA to take Ritalin. In her defense, USA Gymnastics replied that “by virtue of the Therapeutic Use Exemptions, Biles has not broken any drug-testing regulations.”

The privacy breach was claimed by “Fancy Bears” also known as Tsar Team (APT28), a group that threatens to expose even more athletes’ confidential data. It is believed this is an aftermath of the ban from the Olympics and Paralympics of the Russian track and field team following a doping scandal.

“Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia,” Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA, said.

Russian officials have denied any involvement by the Kremlin or secret services in the hack.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.