|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
|August 23, 2000||
Australia fears hack attackBelinda Goldsmith in Sydney
Computer experts will work around the clock during the Sydney Olympics to keep out cyber hackers who might try to vandalise Games websites, even changing official results and the names of medal winners.
Australian Communications Minister Richard Alston said the use of the Internet to disrupt the Olympics, starting on September 15, was being treated as a serious threat.
"You can't assume goodwill, you've got to proceed on the basis that there will be people trying to cause difficulties and do your best to avoid those," Alston told Australian Associated Press.
"We are not about to telegraph our punches."
Sydney organisers are determined to avoid the technology chaos of the 1996 Atlanta Games when Olympic sponsor IBM failed to deliver prompt and accurate results.
IBM systems worked well at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games but the company is ending its 40-year sponsorship of the Olympics after the 2000 Games, citing rising costs.
An Olympic security source said IBM would be reponsible for finding and fixing any problems posed by computer hackers during the Games.
Australian police would be responsible for finding hackers if they breached computer security.
"IBM and Games organisers have authority for information security," the source said on Wednesday.
Sydney is being heralded as the first "Internet Olympics" due to the explosion in Net use since 1996 with 275 million Internet users globally now compared to 40 million four years ago.
Results from the Sydney Games' 39 venues will be posted on the official Olympic website (www.olympics.com), which is expected to receive more than one billion hits.
With Sydney nine hours ahead of London and 13 hours ahead of New York, many fans will be in bed or at work as their sporting heroes perform, boosting the Games online following.
The Sydney Olympics is expected to be the biggest test yet for the Internet. It will show how the web copes when a worldwide audience plugs in at the same time and in many different languages.
Mail Sports Editor
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK