Athletes and spectators attending the Beijing Winter Olympics should leave their phones at home and use spare ones, the FBI warns, according to the BBC .
The FBI’s message comes in the broader context of concerns about cyber activities that could affect the event, such as ransomware or denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
The agency also warned about malware, data theft and the installation of tracking tools on mobile phones.
“The FBI is urging all athletes to leave their personal phones at home and use some temporary ones while they are at the Olympics,” the US news agency wrote in a note, according to the BBC.
The FBI said it had no information about a “specific threat” to the Olympics, but advised its participants to “remain vigilant.”
Other national Olympic committees in some Western countries have urged their athletes not to take their personal phones with them to Beijing, the FBI said.
A similar warning came recently from the cyber security company Citizen Lab .
The company’s analysts checked the official application of the Olympics, which all participants must install, in order to monitor COVID cases, and concluded that:
the application does not provide security regarding the protection of personal data
an encoding error allows an external entity to access documents, audio files, and other files
the application allows censorship, based on a list of keywords
China has rejected all concerns.
About 3,000 athletes from 109 countries will compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20. The Chinese government will spend $ 3.9 billion to host the event.
Several human rights organizations have called on the world’s governments to boycott both the Olympic and Paralympic Games (March 4-13) because of the treatment of the Uyghur minority in China.
Some countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada – have already announced that they will not send diplomatic representatives to the Beijing festivities.