They have been hacking the world anti-doping authorities in search of medical information. NOW it’s athletics federations turn.
The international athletics agency IAAF announced on Monday, 3.April, that they had been hacked by the group “Fancy Bear.” Hacker allegedly took place in February this year, and the goal was information about athletics practitioners’ applications for exemption from doping regulations.
The president of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe, has been calling around to all the athletes who have submitted applications to the system. In the press release yesterday was Coe humble:
“I must apologize to the practitioners who sent us information they thought would be confidential and secure. We will do everything in our power to rectify the situation. “
Probably Russian intelligence
The group has previously hacked both World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). According to the group’s own website, the goal is to publish all information about practitioners who have applied for – and received – an exemption from doping rules.
According to several companies working on computer security has Fancy Bear originates in Russia. The company Crowdstrike believes the group is linked to Russian military intelligence – GRU.
It can be a thank you for last, since the Russians in 2015 were banned from participating in all athletics indefinitely following a recommendation from the anti-doping agency WADA.
At least that was the first reaction to Svein Arne Hansen, president of the European Association of Athletics Federations. He was not surprised that they broke into the database
- They’ve been everywhere, at IOC, with WADA and the US Anti-Doping Agency, so it was only a matter of time they entered the athletics base as well. We took a rather tough decision in 2015 to ban Russians from all athletics, he says to NRK
Hansen do not think it’s Norwegian athletes on this list, but he emphasizes that the information is compromised is not information about illegal drug use – there is information the athletes themselves have given up.
- I find it hard if they are to go straight into our systems, especially the sensitive about the medical and anti-doping work we do. That is what is frightening, for athletes trust that the information stays with us, he said.
At next week athletics organizations meet to discuss the matter. The server that was attacked is shut down and replaced with a new one. This is according to Hansen too early to say what will be the consequences of an eventual publication of exemption applications.
- This came out yesterday (Monday, 3.April). We’ll probably know more about it when we meet, says Svein Arne Hansen
Sources: IAAF and NRK