A Russian hacking group that goes by the banner “Fancy Bear” has released the private health records of several Olympians from the United States and other countries on two separate occasions this week.
Earlier on Tuesday, the now-infamous hacking group known as Fancy Bear had published stolen health data belonging to four U.S. athletes that included the Williams sisters and gymnastics gold medalist Simone Biles.
In an announcement late Wednesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed that the group had leaked a second batch of confidential medical data of 25 athletes from eight countries. This time, targeted athletes include 10 from the United States, five from Germany, five from Britain, and one each from Denmark, Poland, Romania and Russia. This time, the data did not identify the athletes.
WADA said that the Russian hacker group gained access illegally to its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).
In a statement, WADA director general Olivier Niggli said:
WADA is very mindful that this criminal attack, which to date has recklessly exposed personal data of 29 athletes, will be very distressing for the athletes that have been targeted and cause apprehension for all athletes that were involved in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The breach of ADAMS also resulted in the hackers obtaining confidential medical data such as TUEs, also known as Theraputic Use Exemptions. TUEs allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances when a verified medical condition occurs.
Rio Silver medalist Williams has said that she was granted TUEs due to serious medical conditions, noting that the exemptions were “reviewed by an anonymous, independent group of doctors, and approved for legitimate medical reasons.”
The hacking group has claimed to have an allegiance to global hacking group Anonymous and has vowed to show the world “how Olympic medals are won” in a statement on its website.
In an ominous warning, it added that more records will be forthcoming, by stating:
“We will start with the U.S. team which had disgraced its name by tainted victories.”
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