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Olympic Athletes Advised by FBI to Bring 'Burner' Phones to Beijing

No specific threats against the Olympics, according to the FBI, but instead it's about vigilance against potential ones.

The FBI Monday reportedly issued an advisory for US Olympics and Paralympics athletes traveling to Beijing not to bring personal mobile phones to the events but rather temporary devices to protect their privacy and security from the potential for infection or attacks.

Among the FBI's concerns is China's required health-tracking app for athletes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which along with other mobile or online apps could expose athlete's data and information while they are at the event.

The bureau said it knows of no specific cyber-borne threats, and that its warning to athletes is about vigilance in the face of risk of malware infection, ransomware, data theft, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. 

"The FBI to date is not aware of any specific cyber threat against the Olympics, but encourages partners to remain vigilant and maintain best practices in their network and digital environments," the advisory said.

NPR reported on the FBI advisory on Feb. 1.