Russian hackers targeted LetsRun.com and Bo Waggoner’s NCAA XC at-large algorithm
April 1, 2018
LetsRun.com has learned that it was used by Russian hackers to disseminate “fake news” in the run-up to the 2017 NCAA XC championship. A year after trying to destroy Americans faith in the integrity of US elections, the Russians decided they’d turn their attention into trying to destroy America’s faith in its the integrity of its athletic championships and they had their Fancy Bear hackers go after Bo Waggoner’s computer program that is used to predict the NCAA cross country at large teams.
After Waggoner’s program incorrectly picked the women’s at-large field, LetsRun.com immediately conducted an investigation as they knew there was no way that Waggoner’s work could be wrong and noted irregular traffic from IP addresses in Moscow. Further examination reveals the Russians managed to change the bitbucket source code which in turn resulted in two of the at-large teams being incorrectly picked. The FBI was immediately notified and they were able to confirm the hack.
“We are trying to create chaos in America. Having them lose faith in their election process is chump change to having them lose faith in their most cherished sporting championships like the NCAA cross country championships,” read an intercepted email from Russia. “Can you imagine how upset the people in the states of Missouri and Virginia were when they found out Missouri and Virginia Tech weren’t going?”