FBI asks Olympic athletes to ditch smartphones
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is urging Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics participants to ditch personal smartphones. The reason is the threat of cyberattacks from the Chinese authorities, writes the BBC.
The FBI is reportedly urging athletes and guests of the Beijing Olympics to leave their smartphones at home and use temporary ones instead. The bureau fears that smartphones could be exposed to ransomware, other malware, and spyware.
At the time, the FBI clarifies that it is not yet aware of any specific threat at the Olympics, but added that National Olympic Committees in some Western countries are also advising not to use personal smartphones in China.
It is also reported that the warning from the FBI follows a similar warning from cybersecurity group Citizen Lab. The point is that athletes and guests who travel to Beijing must download a special application to monitor COVID cases.
According to Citizen Lab, the Chinese application is unsafe because it accesses personal data, and the vulnerability in encryption allows a third party to access documents, audio and files on smartphones. China denies any accusations.