A Russian hacker group known as “Fancy Bears” has accessed and leaked medical files from some of the most popular Olympic athletes, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has confirmed. Venus and Serena Williams, as well as gymnast Simone Biles, were among the targets. The attack isn’t all that surprising, considering that WADA recommended banning all of Russia’s Olympic contenders this year after it discovered a long-running state-run doping program. Ultimately, more than 100 Russian athleteswere banned from this year’s summer Olympics.
“WADA condemns these ongoing cyber-attacks that are being carried out in an attempt to undermine WADA and the global anti-doping system,” said WADA director general Olivier Niggli in a statement. “Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia further to the outcomes of the Agency’s independent McLaren Investigation Report,” he added.
WADA believes the hackers used spear phishing attacks to acquire passwords for their administrative interface around the Rio Olympics. Naturally, the agency says it’s working with law enforcement to investigate the attack, and it’s take a closer look at its security capabilities. The documents that Fancy Bears released on Twitter points to the Williams sisters using banned substances over the past few years for therapeutic purposes, but, it’s important to note it was all authorized by WADA.