Hackers to target Games

LONDON’S Olympic Games is certain to come under attack from cyber terrorists, the man in charge of IT and telecommunications for next year’s extravaganza has warned.

Gerry Pennell, chief information officer for 2012, says malicious individuals or groups are sure to try to sabotage the Games by hacking into its networks.

“We will get cyber-attacked, for sure,” said Pennell. “We’re working very closely with our partners and also with government to make sure that we’ve got the right level of defences against predictable cyber attacks.

“Clearly you can never say never, but I think we’re doing everything we need to do to minimise the chances of that causing us a problem.”

Pennell said saboteurs had attempted to attack all recent Olympics, including Beijing in 2008, with the aim of “taking down the Games itself, if they can penetrate far enough to bring the results network down”.

He added that recent cyber-attacks on the whistle-blowing website had raised the profile of the problem, but is confident that 200,000 hours of systems testing that started yesterday will help defend against the threat.

Speaking at the launch of the London 2012 Tech Lab at Atos Origin’s offices in Canary Wharf, Pennell added: “It’s something I spend a lot of personal time on and I have a team dedicated to this particular issue, and we work with all our partners around making sure we are secure from a cyber point of view.”

Pennell said the Commonwealth Games debacle in Delhi had underlined the importance of rigorous testing of the event’s infrastructure. “There is no chance of us going there,” he added.