News / Science & Technology

Sochi Games Present Hacking Minefield

File - The Olympic rings are cast in shadow as the sun sets behind the Bolshoy Ice Palace as preparations continue at the Olympic Park for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 3, 2014.
File - The Olympic rings are cast in shadow as the sun sets behind the Bolshoy Ice Palace as preparations continue at the Olympic Park for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 3, 2014.

Related Articles

Multimedia Rising Cost of Olympics Begs Question: Why Host?

As Russia spends more than $50 billion to stage Sochi Winter Games, some question if that kind of expenditure really is worth it

Moody's: Olympic Games Unlikely to Boost Russian Economy

Prediction by ratings agency undermines one of President Vladimir Putin's main goals at the Games

Russia Seeks Olympic Comeback With Sochi Games

Analysts say after failed 1980 Moscow Olympics, Putin hopes Sochi will boost Russia's appeal
The U.S. State Department is warning Americans traveling to the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, not to expect much in the way of privacy.

Specifically, the State Department says travelers should not expect privacy when using electronic devices because of the "System for Operative Investigative Activities," commonly known as "SORM," law.

That law, according to the State Department, “permits the monitoring, retention and analysis of all data that traverses Russian communications networks, including fax transmissions, telephone calls, internet browsing and e-mail messaging.”

Russia is also a hotspot for criminal hackers who have proved very adept at stealing information from electronic devices.

"The Russian SORM, coupled with the Russian organized crime presence, one should expect that any electronic device usage will have little if any privacy, said Christopher Burgess, CEO of Prevendra, Inc., an Internet security firm. “I recommend visitors use throw-away cell phones for contact and do not engage in electronic banking. Your data is  being shared."

Last year, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security advised travelers to “consider traveling with ‘clean’ electronic devices—if you do not need the device, do not take it.”

Furthermore, they advised removing “all personal identifying information” and to remove or sanitize sensitive files.

Wi-Fi connections should be turned off “at all times,” according to the State Department.

“Do not check business or personal electronic devices with your luggage at the airport. Do not connect to local ISPs at cafes, coffee shops, hotels, airports, or other local venues. Change all your passwords before and after your trip,” State warned.

The State Department said to “assume any electronic device you take can be exploited.”

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

Al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
February 06, 2014 5:08 PM
"...not to expect much in the way of privacy"
Americans DO have a sense of humor. Now go and fix your government.

by: Marlena from: UK
February 05, 2014 9:04 PM
why would ANYONE want to go and see this level of depravity..?? risking so much for what exactly..?? you are a fool if you even consider the venture...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs