While you were watching the Opening Ceremony, the Winter Olympics might've been hacked

Josh Martin

The Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics appeared to go off without a hitch. Behind the scenes, though, the festivities in PyeongChang were plagued with problems, perhaps from cyberattacks.

According to Business Insider’s David Choi, a series of servers went down during the festivities and took the PyeongChang 2018 website and some internet-connected TVs at the press center with them. The website shutdown, in particular, temporarily prevented spectators from printing their tickets to Olympic events.

Per Reuters’ Karolos Grohmann, the hiccups also included failed drone deployments during the ceremony, forcing broadcasters to splice in pre-recorded footage of the high-tech theatrics.

Despite the appearance of hacking, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games (POCOG) had yet to confirm whether that was, in fact, the cause of those aforementioned complications.

“Experts are watching to ensure and maintain any systems at expected service levels. We are currently investigating the cause of the issue. At this time we cannot confirm (a cyberattack),” Sung Baik-you, a POCOG spokesperson, said in a statement, per Reuters.

“We are investigating the cause and we will share more information. All competitions are running as planned.”

The Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The issues affected only “non-critical systems” and apparently didn’t endanger spectators at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium.

It wouldn’t come as any great surprise if organizers ultimately determined that cyberattacks were to blame for those early headaches. The Games were bombarded by hacks even before competition began, with upwards of 300 computer systems connected to the Olympics suffering setbacks, according to the New York Times’ Nicole Perlroth.

More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
North Korea’s ‘army of beauties’ makes Olympic debut
Five things to know about short track speed skating
Passan: Meet the 6-7 ski-racing monster chasing a medal
Was Olympic Opening Ceremony hacked by North Korea?
Rippon’s agent claims Pence asked for sitdown; Pence refutes