A Russian hacking group is believed to be the one responsible for a hack that took place on the World Anti-Doping Agency website and has seen several of American’s confidential medical reports leaked online. The anti-doping agency announced the news on Monday.
The hacker group, known in some circles as Fancy Bear, released the records of four of America’s athletes which included tennis superstars Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams. 19-year-old Olympic four time gold medallist, Simone Biles was also on the list together with basketball player Elena Delle Donne.
For all four athletes, the hacker group published the section of “Therapeutic Use Exemptions”, a section where drugs that are banned by the doping agency can be used by athletes if they have verified medical records that the drug is needed. Fancy Bear said they intended to release even more documents for other athletes after releasing the four athlete’s medical records.
The group is also known by its other name, Tsar Team and they claimed that the Therapeutic Use Exemptions part indicated the evidence of doping that was being done by the US athletes. In a statement after revealing the medical records, the group said that they had reviewed the Wada databases and had noted that there were numerous American athletes who had tested positive to drugs.
The Olympiads who went to Rio and got medals used some of the illegal strong performance enhancing drugs while having a certificate of approval. In other words, they had licenses for their doping.
Travis Tygart, the US Anti-Doping Agency chief said that the notion that hackers could obtain the medical information of athletes in an attempted smear campaign was unthinkable. Mr. Tygart said that in fact, it was the opposite because the athletes had gone to get medical confirmation which would mean they were adhering to rules and regulations of the global doping agency.
Wada previously noted that it was expecting to experience several cyber attacks because of the revelations which were made by investigators accusing Russia of having a state-sponsored doping program in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The agency’s director general, Olivier Niggli said that the efforts by the Russian hacking group only meant that it would be difficult for the global village to re-establish their trust with the Russian government. He also said that Wada deeply regretted the actions done by the Fancy Bear group and also acknowledged the threat which the athletes implicated in the hack faced.
The agency also said that they believed the hack to have been carried out by spear-phishing emails. Through this method, they got passwords which were for the Wada Anti-Doping Administration and Management Systems (Adams) database.
Wada, just get yourself a VPN already.