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Winter Olympics sidelights: Cyber attack shuts official site

February 11, 2018 21:16 IST
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The Olympic rings seen at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Sunday

IMAGE: The Olympic rings seen at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Sunday. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics suffered a cyber attack during the opening ceremony on February 9, the organisers confirmed on Sunday, but restrained to reveal the sources.

The cyber attack affected the internet-connected televisions at the media centres and also shut down the official Winter Olympics website for around 20 minutes.

However, the organisers claimed that the incident did not compromise any critical part of their operations.


"Maintaining secure operations is our purpose," The Daily Express quoted International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams as saying.

"We know the cause of the problem but these kind of issues occur frequently during the Games," Adams said.

He added, "We have decided with the IOC we are not going to reveal the source of the attack."

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang kicked off on Friday with the two Koreans marching under unified flag in an opening ceremony themed around peace and future.

The ceremony was attended by North Korean ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, as well as US Vice President Mike Pence.

US IOC member suggests joint Korean team for Nobel peace prize

 International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates are seen during the IOC extraordinary session in Lausanne

IMAGE: International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates are seen during the IOC extraordinary session in Lausanne (Image used for representational purposes). Photograph: Pierre Albouy/Reuters

A senior American member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called on Sunday for North and South Korea's joint women's ice hockey team to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Angela Ruggiero, a four-time ice hockey world champion and Olympic gold medallist, told Reuters she would ask others to nominate the team, which included 12 players from North Korea which is still technically at war with the South.

It was the first time an inter-Korean team had competed at an Olympic Games.

"I would love the team to get the Nobel Peace Prize," Ruggiero, a member of the IOC's executive board said a day after the unified Korean team competed at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

"Seriously, the team. Something that is recognising the sacrifice they made to adjusting their competitions," she said.

South Korea suggested the formation of a joint team as part of its efforts to use the Games to re-engage with the North and pave the way for talks over the North's weapons programme.

North Korea is subject to heavy UN and US sanctions designed to pressure the reclusive, one-party state to abandon its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles.

"As someone who competed in four Olympics and knows it isn't about you, your team, or your country, I saw the power of what it did last night," Ruggiero said.

The team took to the ice for the first time on Saturday, losing to Switzerland but winning over the crowd as North Korean cheerleaders and South Korean fans roared the players on.

The countries are still technically at war since their 1950-53 war ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

However, South Korea has been more willing to re-engage with the North than its old US war ally, which wants Seoul to keep piling diplomatic and economic pressure on its neighbour.

Last month, the North agreed with South Korea to send 22 athletes and a 230-strong cheering squad to the winter Games.

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