Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WADA hacked by Russian cyber espionage group Fancy Bear, agency says

Confidential athlete medical data relating to last month's Rio Olympics has been hacked and published by a Russian cyber espionage group with the threat of more to come, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says.



It identified the group as Tsar Team (APT28), also known as Fancy Bear.
The www.fancybear.net website said it had information about a number of US athletes, including tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams as well as multiple gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles.
WADA condemns these ongoing cyber-attacks that are being carried out in an attempt to undermine WADA and the global anti-doping system," director-general Olivier Niggli said in a statement that did not name any athletes.
"WADA has been informed by law enforcement authorities that these attacks are originating out of Russia."
The fancybear.net website said the group had hacked the WADA databases and would start by releasing exclusive information on the US team followed later by other national Olympic teams.
"We are going to tell you how Olympic medals are won. We hacked World Anti-Doping Agency databases and we were shocked with what we saw," the website said.

Files show medical exemptions for medications

None of the documents published by the group showed wrongdoing.
Instead, the disclosed files set out instances where the athletes had been granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) to use various medications for legitimate reasons — a common practice in international sports.
Biles said on Twitter she had taken medication for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since childhood.
"Please know I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me," she said.
USA Gymnastics said Biles was approved for a TUE and had not broken any rules.
"Simone has filed the proper paperwork per USADA and WADA requirements, and there is no violation," USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said in a statement confirming that her data had been hacked.
Tennis superstar Venus Williams said she was disappointed her confidential medical records were released.
"I was disappointed to learn today that my private, medical data has been compromised by hackers and published without my permission," she said in a statement.
"The applications for TUEs under the tennis anti-doping program require a strict process for approval which I have adhered to when serious medical conditions have occurred.
"I am one of the strongest supporters of maintaining the highest level of integrity in competitive sport and I have been highly disciplined in following the guidelines set by WADA, USADA, the ITF and collectively the Tennis Anti-Doping Program."

'Cowardly and despicable cyber-bullying'

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), International Tennis Federation (ITF) and USA Gymnastics all issued strong statements condemning the publication of the information.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart characterised the hack as a "cowardly and despicable" attempt to smear the women.

Source:abc news

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