Computers stolen from the French Olympics’ organizers

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Two computers belonging to “a manager in charge of planning for the Lille Olympic site” were stolen from a car parked in the city on Tuesday the prosecutor’s office has reported.

The robbery took place on Monday at approximately 18:30 CEST, though access to files stored on the networks of the computers and in the cloud were blocked by the Paris 2024 IT department.

Lille prosecutor Carole Etienne, was quick to address the situation saying, “The complaint from a manager responsible for the planning of the Lille Olympic site was received on the evening of 29 April regarding the theft of two laptops and a badge which were in the organiser’s vehicle, which was parked in front of their home.”

“Investigations are underway” to identify the suspect and determine “the exact nature of the data that these computers contained in connection with the 2024 Olympics,” she added. As per a police source, it is probable that one of the stolen computers contained “security plans” for the infrastructure of the Olympic village located in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, Lille.

“In accordance with Paris 2024 procedures, all data recorded on Paris 2024 computer equipment is encrypted and protected by passwords, and as soon as the theft was reported, the computer was locked remotely,” a spokesperson from the Olympics’ Organising Committee (Cojo) said.

“The security of computer equipment is one of the priorities of Paris 2024, which has taken all risks into account in order to deal with any incident,” the Committee added.

The alleged incident happened after a briefcase was stolen containing notes and sensitive information about the Olympic Games from an engineer at Paris City Hall. A 23-year-old man has since been arrested and sentenced to seven months in prison. Such a crime raised concerns when a police source said the briefcase contained a computer and two USB sticks with security plans for the Paris Olympics.

Days later, however, the Paris prosecutor’s office said the USB drive “contained only notes on road traffic in Paris during the Olympic Games and no sensitive security information”. The judicial source mentioned that the suspect was “known” to the police for multiple thefts on public transport, notably in early January.

Additionally, apart from being a recurrent theft offender, the accused was charged with declining to provide his phone code to the authorities.