Swimming Australia- Under Cyber Attack During 2016 Olympic Games

“Checking your browser before accessing swimming.org.au” was the page Australian swimming fans were greeted with on Thursday and Friday the 11th and 12th of August. The site was under cyber-attack, which has been uncovered as a DDos (Distributed Denial of service) attack. Simply, a DDos attack is a large group of internet hackers trying to block and slow down the entry to the desired website or online resource. Swimming Australia wasn’t the only victim of a cyber-attack, with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) also having their servers under cyber infiltration in the past week.

WADA also confirmed that illegal activity occurred on Yuliya Stepanova’s account that includes her whereabouts filings and testing history. Stepanova was the Russian whistleblower who shed light on the recent state-sponsored  Russian doping scandal. The CAS is the ruling legal body that banned a vast majority of Russian Athletes from the 2016 Olympic Games due to information identified by Stepanova, with WADA being the organization that carried out the doping tests. WADA and the CAS were alerted to the potential leak when online freedom fighters ‘Anonymous Poland’ claimed to have leaked information via a YouTube video. With Anonymous announcing via their Twitter account that documents in the form of emails, passwords, and personal information were uncovered.

The cyber-attack on Swimming Australia has been suspected to originate from a sophisticated Chinese group of internet hackers. This follows Australian Olympic 400m champion Mack Horton raising awareness to the media of Sun Yang’s recent doping violations. However, at this time, no group or country has admitted to the attack.

This incident follows the personal attacks on Mack Horton’s social media page who was subject to over half a million comments of abuse and threats via his personal Instagram account. Horton’s comments infuriated the Chinese Swimming Association, who demanded an apology during the Games. However, Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller informed the media that “We have no intention of making an apology.”

Service was restored to Swimming Australia, WADA, and the CAS websites by the 13th of August, with media statements being released from all three sites indicating that this was an isolated incident.

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7 years ago

The Chinese and Russians should focus more on training and less on not gettIng caught cheating.

7 years ago

Great article and not one spelling mistake, well done Luke. Muz

Chad LeClos
7 years ago

This writer is incredible. Should totally be full time. I also heard he is really good looking.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Chad LeClos
7 years ago

Is this THE Chad Le Clos?

Beantown Swim
7 years ago

Kinda crazy how the whole Horton-Yang debacle has transcended beyond the pool and into the realm of international politics. Several articles I’ve read the past week have cited these two in their pieces about Sino-Australian relations.

It seems that the trash talk from the pool has spilled over into the South China Sea, and now into cyberspace.

Naya Missy
Reply to  Beantown Swim
7 years ago

Same as how the King-Efimova debacle has spilled into Cold War stuff as well. Quite shocked.

Stay Human
Reply to  Naya Missy
7 years ago

Efimova tried to drag her own doping from Putin’s new round of the Cold War over to King. Either Putin or his subordinates knew about the doping. From what the clean Russian long jumper female athlete who lives/trains in the US(can’t remember her name) said, the doping was essentially encouraged but optional. Efimova made her choice to be part of it, and by extension, the Cold War. King just pointed out the obvious, that Efimova had been caught twice doping and made no mention of the Cold War– nobody did until Efimova brought it up. I’m not shocked at all. As soon as Putin assumed power, I figured there would be a return to Russian doping at some point.

7 years ago

Kitty Chiller is a great name. Sounds like a Bond villain.

7 years ago

Interesting… What would Ryan Lochte do?

7 years ago

Who could be mad at Swim Australia and WADA to hack them?

Easier to solve these cases than the Ryan Lochte brouhaha.

Zika Ziki
Reply to  marklewis
7 years ago

The Chinese.
Horton-Yang drama, remember?