Top e-cop: Olympics suppliers may be cyber targets

Summary:Olympics suppliers and sponsors may be more of a target for cyberattack than central Olympics IT systems, according to Police Central eCrime Unit head Charlie McMurdie.Many of the central IT systems used to run the Olympics will not be easily accessible from the internet, McMurdie told ZDNet UK at a Westminster eForum cybersecurity event on Wednesday.

Olympics suppliers and sponsors may be more of a target for cyberattack than central Olympics IT systems, according to Police Central eCrime Unit head Charlie McMurdie.

Many of the central IT systems used to run the Olympics will not be easily accessible from the internet, McMurdie told ZDNet UK at a Westminster eForum cybersecurity event on Wednesday.

"Most of the bespoke Olympics centre is ring-fenced," said McMurdie. "I personally think we're more likely to see activity around the peripheral suppliers, the sponsors. I see that as being more of an issue."

Olympics sponsors include Atos, Visa, Panasonic, and Samsung.

The government announced a dedicated Olympics cybersecurity unit in December. The unit, which includes information security experts from GCHQ, also includes Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU) officers.

The unit has been running a number of exercises, including a scenario in which industrial computer systems controlling the UK electrical grid were attacked, said McMurdie. More exercises are planned for next week, said McMurdie. Different parts of law enforcement and the intelligence agencies will respond to an attack depending on whether it is state-sponsored, or run by an organised crime group.

"[Aside from financial attacks], any attacks around the Olympics will be referred to us to respond to," said McMurdie. "The overriding [priority] is to ensure the safe and secure delivery of the Games. Disruption and mitigation of attacks takes primacy over the actual investigation side; however, we will try and do both, and consider the options for response where possible."

PCeU is looking into fraudulent ticketing websites as part of its Olympics work.

Topics: Security, Olympics 2012

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Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com, writing about all manner of security and open-source issues.Tom had various jobs after leaving university, including working for a company that hired out computers as props for films and television, and a role turning the entire back catalogue of a publisher into e-books.Tom eventually found tha... Full Bio

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