Organisers of the London Olympics are to launch a technical operation designed to counter cyber threats that expected in the lead up to and during the 2012 Games. Atos, the lead technical firm for the Games, has carried out extensive tests, including simulated attacks, to tackle the threat of cyber attacks.
Such measures are deemed necessary to ensure that vital parts of infrastructure, like venue scoreboards and press accreditation, are not disturbed.
Atos will run its Olympic Technology Operations Centre is to be located in Canary Wharf, one of the biggest financial districts in the city, throughout the Games. A technical team will work from this office around the clock to ensure that the cyber attacks do not ruin the event.
Michele Hyron, the company's Chief Integrator, explained that the firm has already conducted 200,000 hours of testing, much as which included simulated attacks. To this end, Atos has called on the help of so-called ethical hackers, who use their expertise to tests the systems, not disable them.
Speaking at the technology centre, Ms Hyron said: "We are using ethical hackers for that, we are using external companies, we are using people from our own company who are specialized in that kind of activity. We are preparing ourselves in terms of testing to cover all the kind of threats to the Olympic Games."
The organising committee are fully aware of the threat posed by cyber attacks and have, therefore, decided to plough a quarter of its overall budget into spending on technology. Atos, for instance, has revealed that through the course of the Games, it is set to handle as many as two million pieces of data. This, Atos said, represents a 30 per cent rise on the figures for Beijing, in 2008.
"Our role is to do monitoring in real time and within milliseconds block any line that is showing abnormal behavior - then it's a problem for police or law enforcement to work out if that is an attack or not," Patrick Adiba, executive vice-president at Atos for the Olympic Games, explained.