Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

End of Bibblio RCM includes -->
7/5/2021
10:00 AM
Jessica Amado
Jessica Amado
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv

Watch for Cybersecurity Games at the Tokyo Olympics

The cybersecurity professionals guarding the Summer Olympics are facing at least as much competition as the athletes, and their failure could have steeper ramifications.

It was a close call, but the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics almost ended before it started. A harmful cyberattack threatened to cause severe disruptions to the opening ceremony and the subsequent sporting events. Fortunately, a sleepless night at the Olympics' technology operations center allowed for a speedy and efficient incident response process.

Related Content:

Cyber Athletes Compete to Form US Cyber Team

Special Report: Building the SOC of the Future

New From The Edge: An Interesting Approach to Cyber Insurance

Three years later, the threat landscape has changed, and the Tokyo Olympics is no safer than its predecessor. In fact, the heavy reliance on technology means these Olympics might be the most vulnerable Games yet. Not only is the upcoming Olympics' use of technology set to be the most innovative yet, but COVID-related audience restrictions mean spectators must keep up with events electronically. Now that there are events to keep up with, it's not only the athletes who are preparing to show off their skills.

The Gold Medal
The Olympics relies heavily on critical infrastructure, and, to many malicious actors, such entities are ideal targets. Attacking critical infrastructure can cause physical disruption when operational technology (OT) is affected. OT is the technology that interfaces with the physical world; hence, the spillover effects of an attack will cause significant damage to the real world. For this reason, there are several potential motives behind an attack on the Olympics and its related entities. The international attention the Games receives means it is the perfect target for hacktivists, terrorists, threat actors, or others to make a statement. Further, the Olympics can act as a strategic target for state-sponsored groups with a political agenda.

The Hard(ware) Truths
The motives of attackers and the value of the target mean actors carrying out such attacks will likely have advanced, sophisticated capabilities. This means organizations are not protected — even if they think they are.

Credit: lazyllama at Adobe Stock
Credit: lazyllama at Adobe Stock

Truth #1: What You See Is Not What You Get
Enterprises often genuinely believe they have a complete hardware asset inventory and, therefore, a comprehensive security approach. But this is rarely the case. In fact, more than 60% of IT managers have an incomplete inventory of their IT devices. Whether a device is unmanaged, hiding, or spoofing a legitimate one, there are serious, unintentional gaps in enterprises' hardware inventory. 

Thinking that all assets are accounted for may be more dangerous than knowing there are some gaps left open. In this situation, the enterprise will not have an effective incident response process in an attack, and the origin of the attack will be difficult, if not impossible, to determine. And, with the Tokyo Olympics relying heavily on technology, the number of devices in use will be extensive, making the risk proliferate significantly. (By point of comparison, the 2018 Winter Olympics relied on more than 10,000 PCs, more than 20,000 mobile devices, 6,300 Wi-Fi routers, and 300 servers.) Enterprises must make more concerted efforts to ensure they have a complete asset inventory by gaining visibility of all OSI layers.

Truth #2: You Undervalue Yourself
Attackers might be sophisticated, but this does not necessarily mean they use their skills to infiltrate a target directly. Sometimes, sophistication means working smarter, not harder; the supply chain allows for the former.

Highly protected targets can be very challenging to infiltrate and, thus, their less-secure suppliers are often a point of infiltration for bad actors. Either the supplier will have access to the target's confidential information or will provide the cybercriminal a pathway (via hardware or software) into the target organization. Supply chain attacks were up sevenfold in the last half of 2020, and this figure will continue rising without major reform. And, with critical infrastructure relying on large supply chains, the Olympics has many entry points. Small organizations who believe themselves to be of no value might just be the barrier (or entry point) between attackers and their target. In 2019, 66% of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) said they believed a cyberattack was unlikely, but 67% of SMBs fell victim to one. In today's interconnected environment, enterprises, no matter their size or nature of operations, must significantly expand their threat landscape awareness; the supply chain is counting on it.

An Extra Year of Training
The postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021 gave the athletes — and the Olympics cybersecurity teams — an extra year of training. Moreover, increased attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic should have reinforced the importance of advanced cybersecurity efforts. In just a few weeks, the world will watch as athletes compete for gold. Those of us in the cybersecurity world will be watching for any signs of a possible attack. You have your thrills; we have ours.  

Jessica Amado is Head of cyber research at Sepio Systems, where she researches and covers multiple aspects of hardware-related cyber threats. She is a Regent's University London graduate with First Class Honors in Global Business Management with Leadership and Management and ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
TroyG325
TroyG325,
User Rank: Author
7/6/2021 | 1:44:42 PM
Great PSA
Couldnt agree more, expecting the same
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Improving Enterprise Cybersecurity With XDR
Enterprises are looking at eXtended Detection and Response technologies to improve their abilities to detect, and respond to, threats. While endpoint detection and response is not new to enterprise security, organizations have to improve network visibility, expand data collection and expand threat hunting capabilites if they want their XDR deployments to succeed. This issue of Tech Insights also includes: a market overview for XDR from Omdia, questions to ask before deploying XDR, and an XDR primer.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-31108
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-28
Mermaid is a JavaScript based diagramming and charting tool that uses Markdown-inspired text definitions and a renderer to create and modify complex diagrams. An attacker is able to inject arbitrary `CSS` into the generated graph allowing them to change the styling of elements outside of the generat...
CVE-2022-31229
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-28
Dell PowerScale OneFS, 8.2.x through 9.3.0.x, contain an error message with sensitive information. An administrator could potentially exploit this vulnerability, leading to disclosure of sensitive information. This sensitive information can be used to access sensitive resources.
CVE-2022-31230
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-28
Dell PowerScale OneFS, versions 8.2.x-9.2.x, contain broken or risky cryptographic algorithm. A remote unprivileged malicious attacker could potentially exploit this vulnerability, leading to full system access.
CVE-2022-2145
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-28
Cloudflare WARP client for Windows (up to v. 2022.5.309.0) allowed creation of mount points from its ProgramData folder. During installation of the WARP client, it was possible to escalate privileges and overwrite SYSTEM protected files.
CVE-2022-28621
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-28
A remote disclosure of sensitive information vulnerability was discovered in HPE NonStop DSM/SCM version: T6031H03^ADP. HPE has provided a software update to resolve this vulnerability in HPE NonStop DSM/SCM.