Hackers have targeted several groups associated with the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea, says McAfee.
A malware-infected email was sent to an ‘@pyeongchang2018.com' address, with several other South Korean organisations copied in, most of them with a link to the Olympics ‘either in providing infrastructure or in a supporting role', said McAfee.
The campaign began on the 22nd December, with the most recent activity six days later, on the 28th. Although the identity of the attacker has not been shared, the email came from an IP address in Singapore.
The sender spoofed the message to appear to come from an ‘@nctc.go.kr' address, which is associated with South Korea's National Counter-Terrorism Centre. McAfee notes that, at the time that the email was sent, the NCTC was conducting physical anti-terror drills in the region in preparation for the Olympic Games.
The attack used an in-memory implant using Powershell with obfuscation to avoid detection - an increasingly popular method of fileless assault.
Similar attacks in the past have tried to steal information such as passwords and financial data.
McAfee says that it expects to see an increase in cyber attacks using the Olympics as a theme, echoing a recent warning by the University of California. Researchers at UC warned that the widespread adoption of technologies like digital display panels and software-based scoring systems have paved the way to attacks by determined hackers.
This most recent hack comes at a time when North Korea is preparing to hold official talks with its southern neighbour for the first time in more than two years, about finding a way for its athletes to attend the upcoming Games.
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