Russians really want to win at international sports. As they’ve demonstrated in the recent past, they’re willing to let their players use performance enhancing drugs to achieve success. Now, it’s come to light that they may also be willing to hack the agencies that look into performance enhancing drugs.
Oh, and they also may have hacked sites related to Syrian chemical weapons use.
Hacking charges have been filed by the Justice Department against seven Russian intelligence officers.
The DOJ says Russia began its Olympics operation in retaliation for a damning World Anti-Doping Agency’s report released one month before the Rio Olympics, which found the country had used a systematic campaign to cheat doping tests, in actions that centered around the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Within days of that report, Russia began trying to hack into WADA, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and other agencies, according to the Justice Department.
The charges include conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The case directly relates to Thursday’s announcement by Dutch authorities who say they disrupted at least one cyber op aimed at the OPCW.
Competitive sports are important to billions around the world, but let’s get a little perspective on it. These are games. Yes, Russia was embarrassed when their cheating was exposed, but that shouldn’t mean bringing in hacking intelligence agents to get revenge.
I don’t know what they were thinking or why they’d be willing to go to such extremes, but they’re playing a dangerous game here. International sports give the world a way to compete with each other without bloodshed. They’re great distractions from an otherwise violent world. Stop doping, start training harder, and put your hackers onto something more interesting.