DAA Daily

FBI urges Olympic athletes to use burner phones

By Aryaman Bhatia, Science and Tech Editor, The Pawprint

The FBI has advised athletes and visitors to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to leave their phones at home and use temporary ones instead.

It is part of a broader warning about how cyber-activity may disrupt the events.

Ransomware and denial of service attacks are examples of this.

It did, however, issue a warning about malware, data theft, and the installation of “tracking tools” on mobile devices.

“The FBI strongly advises all athletes to leave their personal mobile phones at home and utilize a temporary phone while competing,” it said.

The FBI stated that it was not aware of “any specific danger” to the Olympics but urged partners to “stay watchful.”

It was also said that the National Olympic Committees of various Western countries advised against the usage of personal cell phones.

The warning follows a similar one issued by the cyber-security firm Citizen Lab.

Earlier last month, it investigated the official Olympics app, which attendees are supposed to download for Covid health monitoring purposes.

According to its findings, when it came to securing personal data, it was unsecure.

Due to an encryption weakness, a third party was able to access papers, audio, and files that were subject to censoring based on a list of keywords. Its privacy policies did not specify who received and handled any data posted to it.

China rejected the worries.

The games will take place from February 4 to February 20, with around 3,000 competitors competing in 109 different events. The Winter Paralympics will take place from March 4 to March 13.

The Chinese government is investing $3.9 billion (£2.9 billion) on the Games, which will be held in and around Beijing. Human rights organizations have urged nations to boycott both because of China’s persecution of Uyghurs.

Some countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, have said that they would not send government delegates to the gathering.

President Xi has stated that the government will “spare no effort” to ensure the success of the Games.

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