For those of us watching the pre-recorded opening ceremony, the Olympics drones moving through the skies were magical. And as it turns out, it really was magic – studio magic that is.

They Never Even Took Off

The planned drone launch by Intel never even happened. As it turns out, the entire thing was a failure to launch that resulted in a pre-recorded version to be aired instead of performed live.

Olympics Drones

Image Credit: Intel

So What Happened?

So far, there hasn’t been a good answer as to exactly what went wrong. However, there are indications that it was the result of a cyber attack.

Officially the cause was last-minute “impromptu logistical changes”. A statement from the Olympic organizing committee stated:

During the Ceremony, POCOG made the decision to not go ahead with the show because there were too many spectators standing in the area where the live drone show was supposed to take place.

Olympics Drones: Safety Issues?

The statement from the committee seems to indicate there were concerns of spectators being hit by falling drones.

Whether that concern came from true logistical issues or from hackers remains to be seen. I’m sure that nobody at the Olympics would be excited to announce there was a cybersecurity breach.


Sources & Additional Info:

The Huffington Post | Winter Olympics Organizers Probe Possible Cyberattack on Opening Ceremony Day

Recode | Intel’s Drone Light Show Never Got Off the Ground for the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony


Sharif Jameel

Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover band, Liquifaction.