Organizers looking into 'possible attack' on internet, Wi-Fi

Fireworks explode over the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Clive Mason/Pool Photo via AP)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Pyeongchang Olympic organizers are investigating a possible attack on their internet and Wi-Fi systems that took place about 45 minutes before the opening ceremony.

Organizing committee spokeswoman Nancy Park said the defense ministry and a cybersecurity team were investigating the outage that occurred Friday night.

"It didn't affect the opening ceremony," Park said. "It went as planned. We just had some issue with our internal system."

Park said Saturday that the systems had been "normalized" without giving details. She earlier declined to speculate on the cause and said she did not want to call it a cyberattack.

In a statement, organizers issued an apology "to all those affected. These have not disrupted any events."

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that servers were shut down to prevent damage to technical systems, causing problems with the Pyeongchang Olympic website.

The opening ceremony was attended by several heads of state and included North Korea's ceremonial leader, Kim Yong Nam, and the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Also on hand was U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

The games are being held about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border between North and South Korea, countries that technically have been at war since an armistice in 1953.

An International Olympic Committee spokesman said drones that were scheduled to be used in the opening ceremony were not deployed. Spokesman Mark Adams called it an "impromptu logistical change" and did not say whether it was related to the Wi-Fi and internet outage.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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