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September 14, 2016

World Doping Agency: Hackers Stole Olympic Medical Records

U.S. athletes may have won their share of gold at the Rio Olympics, but they lost some as well – in the form of valuable medical data.

Yesterday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced a group of Russian hackers infiltrated one of its Olympic databases. It was the same group of hackers who are suspected of stealing confidential information from the Democratic National Committee earlier this year.

According to WADA, the group illegally acquired the information by using a tactic called spearphishing. First, they obtained users private passwords using a targeted email campaign, and then used the passwords to obtain confidential data.

On Tuesday, the group released a large amount of documents onto the Internet. Their intention was to expose preferential treatment among American athletes. The group claimed that the hack revealed dozens of positive tests for banned substances.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, though, the group neglected to back up their claim with proof. And while the leak did reveal widespread prescription drug use by American athletes, the majority of substances were legal as they were for medical purposes.

Superstars Simone Biles, Serena Williams and Elena Delle Donne were all mentioned in the leak.

What was the motive for the hack? Prior to the Olympics, several Russian athletes were banned for their involvement in a widespread doping scandal. So it’s safe to assume this hack was carried out in retaliation.

While nothing too scandalous was revealed in the hack, it was still a tough pill to swallow for the U.S., and WADA. The hackers exposed the medical histories of some of the proudest and most respected American athletes. And unfortunately, little can be done in the form of retribution.

In the wake of this national embarrassment, we as a country need to collectively wake up to the grim reality of cybercrime. If you or your organization is harboring sensitive data, it’s only a matter of time before hackers come looking for it. Your business could be at risk from state-sponsored hackers, rogue cybercriminals or even your competitors.

When they come, will your business be prepared?

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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