Network Security, Critical Infrastructure Security, Threat Intelligence

Upcoming Olympics subjected to Russian disinformation campaign

The interconnected rings of the Olympics logo and a design of the Olympic flame with the words Paris 2024 are seen on a window

Russian state-sponsored threat groups Storm-1679 and Storm-1099 have diverted their influence operations to target the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Paris, according to The Register.

Months after paying celebrities to create Cameo videos aimed at undermining Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Storm-1679 has used deepfakes of Tom Cruise to make a phony Netflix documentary titled "Olympics Has Fallen" to spread disinformation about the Games, a report from Microsoft revealed.

Several fake CIA videos warning about a "high" terrorism threat in Paris, as well as hoax videos of ticket returns due to safety issues purportedly from France24 have also been used by Storm-1679 as part of its campaign.

Such disinformation operations are supported by Storm-1099 through more than a dozen fraudulent French-language news sites containing fake stories castigating French President Emmanuel Macron, researchers said.

"Prior to spring 2024, Storm-1679 primarily launched disinformation operations in English, only occasionally producing content in French and German, among other European languages. [Microsoft Threat Analysis Center] tracked a notable increase in Storm-1679's French-language content as the Olympics campaign gained steam, possibly signaling an effort to target the French public more directly or set the scene for alleged unrest in the lead-up to the Games," noted researchers.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.