Great Britain’s Olympic team could be given cyber-security training ahead of next year’s Games after intimate photographs and videos of four British female athletes were posted online in a targeted hack.
The British Olympic Association told Telegraph Sport it was considering offering such training following what was the latest of several cyber-attacks this year on the country’s female sports stars, victims of which are said to include an Olympian and a Tokyo 2020 medal prospect.
According to the Times, the latest hack saw 100 private messages stolen from the phone of one British athlete and 30 pictures and video clips taken from another, with the victims considering steps to have the material removed from the dark net.
The agent of one of the women said previous hacking cases had seen people “blackmailed” over stolen material.
The most recent attack was also said to have targeted American athletes and television personalities.
Hope Solo, the double gold medal-winning US footballer, was among a large number of women whose intimate photographs were published on the internet three years ago.
She said at the time: “It is extremely sad and unfortunate that the rights of so many women were violated by the unauthorised release of private photographs.
“This act goes beyond the bounds of human decency and I stand united with all the women affected and am exploring every option to protect my privacy.”
Training for British Olympians could be added to that already provided about stalkers and trolls on social media during Games-time, including handling obsessed fans, religious extremists and people with suicidal tendencies.
Four years ago, the BOA commissioned Theseus, a security adviser, to give athletes guidance on dealing with such threatening, abusive, unwanted or bizarre messages.
A spokesman for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said: “Accessing and then leaking people’s personal data is utterly reprehensible, and we would urge everyone to take steps to secure their online accounts.
“The NCSC recommends people turn on two-factor authentication where it’s available. We also recommend a strong password made up of three random words to reduce the likelihood of being hacked, and important accounts should use a unique password. The NCSC’s Cyber Aware website has actionable steps to stay secure.”
Sport has become a common target for computer and phone hackers, with anti-doping agencies among those to have come under attack in recent years.
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