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Senator proposes to set up headquarters for cyber threats combating during Sochi Olympics

According to the Federation Council member, “within the framework of such a large-scale event, the information infrastructure will be critically loaded"
Photo ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov
Photo ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov

MOSCOW, October 21 (Itar-Tass) - Operational headquarters for the information security of the Olympic Games may be created under the auspices of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. The corresponding proposal was addressed to the Committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko by chairman by the Federation Council’s interim commission on the development of the information society Ruslan Gattarov (the application copy is available to Itar-Tass).

According to the FC member, “Within the framework of such a large-scale event, the information infrastructure will be critically loaded, which in the conditions of insufficient preparation level may disrupt the functioning of the information systems serving the Olympics and make the information infrastructure vulnerable to cyber criminals.” Two meetings with the wide participation of information security experts have been held under the auspices of the Federation Council commission headed by Gattarov, to discuss this topic.

The FC member noted that several problems have been identified by the meetings. In particular, he said, “No unified model of information security threats has been created to date.” “Due to this, the efforts made by the companies - partners of the Olympics, are concentrated exclusively on the spheres entrusted to them and are not coordinated among them, which creates vulnerability in interdepartmental interaction,” said the Federation Council member.

Gattarov also noted that “the Internet infrastructure of the Olympics has not been tested under maximum load for stability and resilience to cyber attacks,” and also “a number of software and hardware solutions to ensure information security used by partner companies of the Olympics, have not passed certification by the authorized body - the FSB (Federal Security Service) of Russia.” “This creates the risk of undocumented features or vulnerabilities that are unknown to the developers of these solutions,” he said.

“With this in mind, I propose to consider the possibility of establishing under the auspices of the Organizing Committee of operational headquarters for ensuring information security of the Olympic Games, which would ensure coordination of activities between various agencies involved in the Games, in order to prevent cyber threats or counter cyber attacks should they occur,” Gattarov told the head of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. He also considers it appropriate to “subject the Olympic Internet infrastructure to so-called penetration tests by the “white hat hackers,” in order to collect information about the vulnerabilities and weak points in the information protection system. The FC member also proposed to conduct load testing of the Olympics’ web portal, attracting several specialized organizations.

In addition, Gattarov said the Federation Council commission was ready to provide the necessary expertise, as well as proposed to hold at the Organizing Committee’s venue a working conference on this issue, inviting all the partners related to the Olympics’ information infrastructure, relevant federal agencies, including relevant units of the Federal Security Service and the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control, as well as experts.