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State Dept. warns Sochi visitors to have ‘no expectation of privacy’


State Dept. warns Sochi visitors to have ‘no expectation of privacy’

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Feb 5, 2014

As reports of Olympic-related troubles in Sochi continue to mount, there’s a new concern about electronics and hacking.

In the report above, NBC News' Brian Williams tells viewers in no uncertain terms, “Visitors to Russia can expect to be hacked.” He then tosses to NBC reporter Richard Engel who explains how, upon arriving in Russia to cover the games, he was hacked "almost immediately.” Engel also told viewers of a U.S. State Dept. warning to have “no expectation of privacy, even in their hotel rooms.”
Engel and an American computer security expert set up a sting, of sorts, to test the country’s privacy systems using a cell phone and two brand-new laptops loaded with a fake information about Engel.
“It doesn't take long here for someone to try to tap into your laptop, cellphone or tablet," Engel reported Tuesday night as he demonstrated how, when he connected them to the Internet in Sochi, one computer was hacked a lost immediately. The other was similarly hacked within 24 hours, as was his cell phone after he used it to surf the Web in a cafe.
"In a minute, hackers were snooping around," he said. "The same thing happened with my cellphone -- it was very fast and very professional."
As Engel noted in his report, “You are especially exposed as soon as you try and communicate with anything.”
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Scripps Media.