APTs quiet ahead of Beijing games, but financially motivated hackers are still lurking, research says

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Jan 26, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

State-sponsored hacking groups have been uncharacteristically quiet leading up to the Olympic Games next month in Beijing. Researchers say there’s one big reason why: No one wants to get on the bad side of China.

“Disruptive Russian, Iranian, and North Korean state-sponsored cyberattacks targeting the 2022 Winter Olympics are unlikely to manifest due to the close relationships those countries maintain with the host nation, China,” Recorded Future researchers write in a report on potential cybersecurity threats to the games released Wednesday.

Although high-level attacks are unlikely, the Winter Games still present a target-rich environment for nation-state groups that focus on cyber-espionage, researchers say. And — as is typical for any large international event — cybercriminals also will be looking for opportunities to scam athletes, organizers, volunteers and fans during the Winter Games.

Beware of SIM cards

Advanced persistent threat (APT) groups from Iran and Russia, while unlikely to attack China or the games, probably will use the event as a chance to spy on countries considered adversarial, researchers say.

Chinese state-sponsored hackers, meanwhile, will likely turn an eye to foreign athletes and government officials attending the events. Recorded Future researchers

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