A place for all things security.

Going to Sochi? Say goodbye to your privacy!

Feb 6, 2014 // Andrew Stroup

If you’re a reporter covering the Sochi Winter Olympics, toxic water, open manhole covers, unheated rooms, and having your personal information compromised are among several of the amenities you can count on. While many news outlets have been covering the more visible eyesores of these olympic games, Richard Engel of NBC news had his own experience with the vast underworld of Russian hackers within minutes of arriving in Russia. Shortly after logging onto his computer he received a suspicious email and clicked on a link, and within the next 24 hours the security of his computer and phone were fully compromised.

Is anyone surprised that a reporter had his computer hacked in Russia? Not really, but it points to the broader issue of cybersecurity. On first glance Mr. Engel’s mishap could be chalked up to being a sucker, but hacking is not a local event. For many young programmers in the developing world hacking is a lucrative career opportunity–especially in places like Russia that tend not to prosecute domestic hackers who target foreigners. Target had a sophisticated security system that was compromised by a 17 year old. If a large international corporation can be brought to its knees that easily, imagine the consequences for an individual.