Analyst Predicted That Paris Olympics Could Be the Next Target of AI-powered Cyberattacks

Industry News

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is growing increasingly powerful, not only enhancing operational efficiency for various enterprises and organizations but also being utilized by hackers for network attack activities. Mandiant Consulting, a cyber security consulting service owned by Google, warns that various cyber threats are constantly increasing, and the upcoming Paris Olympics will likely be the next target for hackers.


John Hultquist, Chief Analyst at Mandiant Consulting, states that the current technological landscape is rife with ongoing cyberattacks, posing a significant cybersecurity challenge due to their wide-ranging scope.


During the Tokyo Olympics, NTT, the IT security service provider, reported 450 million cyberattacks, which is twice the number during the 2012 London Olympics. Mandiant Consulting predicts that the Paris Olympics, which will be held on July 26, will become a target for hackers in the near future.


John Hultquist stated that as the Olympics is a highly symbolic event, the attack could have a psychological impact, even if it doesn’t directly cause any actual damage. The potential threats could come from criminal groups, organizations seeking to sabotage the games, hacktivists with ideological motives, gamblers, or even athletes themselves.


He further added that attacks are not only limited to affecting the venue operations, but also target local rail and metro systems, Paris’s power and water systems, phone networks, and media channels reporting on the Olympics. “The highest risk is the disruption of basic infrastructure and communication channels. We are considering all possible channels for the attack, from broadcasters to sponsors, transportation infrastructure, logistical support, and the games.”


While the French Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI), responsible for the Paris Olympics’ cybersecurity, assured in March that they are “not complacent, not panicked. We have prepared for this. And we have several months to fine-tune,” experts warn that attacks targeting the Olympics could occur outside Paris, potentially spreading through the distribution of fake videos of the event.


Betsy Cooper, a cybersecurity expert at the Aspen Institute, pointed out that in the AI era, influencing the true outcome of an event is becoming easier. Through deepfake videos, events can be manipulated, such as “interfering with the finish line cameras, controlling the hawk-eye judging system, manipulating the scoreboard, or altering the time. There are many ways to interfere.” She suggested separating the data to ensure that even if someone hacks into the system, they cannot access and affect the entire system.