Press Release

Recorded Future: Threats to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games


COVID-19 Pandemic, Ransomware, and Nation-State Threat Actors Influence Potential Threat Landscape

BOSTON — July 19, 2021 — Recorded Future, the world’s largest provider of intelligence for enterprise security, today published details on the threat landscape surrounding the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, including the potential influence by the COVID-19 pandemic, ransomware attacks, and politically motivated nation-state threat activity, in a new report. As evidenced by past Olympics, the high profile and international nature of the event makes it a target for those seeking to cause politically motivated harm, enrich themselves through criminal activities, or embarrass the host nation on the international stage.

Recorded Future’s unrivaled data set of open source, dark web, technical sources, and original research enabled the analysis of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics threat landscape. Key findings from the report include:

  • State-sponsored threat actors pose the most significant threat to the Olympic Games and Olympics-affiliated organizations based on their sophisticated capabilities and ongoing disputes with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or associated bodies.
  • Russian APT groups are likely the most motivated to target and disrupt the upcoming Olympics given previous cyber campaigns targeting the event and the current dispute over the country’s eligibility to participate.
  • Ransomware likely poses the greatest threat to Olympics-affiliated organizations as operators are likely to view the Olympics as attractive targets.
  • State-sponsored propaganda and disinformation outlets are engaging in initial influence activities against the Tokyo games to generate controversy and undermine the event as unpopular, unsafe, or unfair.
  • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions likely reduces the opportunity for physical attacks to take place, but the Olympics are a common venue for political protest, and widespread opposition to the event in Japan increases the risk of domestic-based threats.

“The Olympics has historically been a prime target for threat actors whether for political motivations or because ransomware victim organizations may be heavily incentivized to quickly pay ransoms. While there is a reduced likelihood of physical threats or widespread disruptive protests, it remains of utmost importance for any organization to be aware of this evolving threat landscape and the historical motivations for malicious activity while the world is watching.” — Dr. Christopher Ahlberg, CEO and Co-Founder, Recorded Future

To access the full report, visit: Threats to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

About Insikt Group
Recorded Future’s Insikt Group, the company’s threat research division, comprises analysts and security researchers with deep government, law enforcement, military, and intelligence agency experience. Their mission is to produce intelligence that reduces risk for clients, enables tangible outcomes, and prevents business disruption.

About Recorded Future
Recorded Future is the world’s largest provider of intelligence for enterprise security. By combining persistent and pervasive automated data collection and analytics with human analysis, Recorded Future delivers intelligence that is timely, accurate, and actionable. In a world of ever-increasing chaos and uncertainty, Recorded Future empowers organizations with the visibility they need to identify and detect threats faster; take proactive action to disrupt adversaries; and protect their people, systems, and assets, so business can be conducted with confidence. Recorded Future is trusted by more than 1,000 businesses and government organizations around the world. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @RecordedFuture.