Olympics Broadcaster Announces His Computer Password on Live TV

The announcer complained that it could have been a bit easier to type.
July 26, 2021, 5:05pm
piqsels
Image: Creative Commons

In what is, at least so far, the biggest cybersecurity blunder of the Tokyo Olympics, an Italian TV announcer did not realize he was on air when he asked the password for his computer. 

"Do you know the password for the computer in this commentator booth?" he asked during the broadcast of the Turkey-China volleyball game, apparently not realizing he was still on air. 

"It was too hard to call the password Pippo? Pippo, Pluto or Topolino?" he complained, referring to the Italian names for Goofy, Pluto and Mickey Mouse. 

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The snafu was immortalized in a video posted on Twitter by cybersecurity associate professor Stefano Zanero, who works at the Polytechnic University of Milan. A source who works at Eurosport, the channel which was broadcasting the volleyball game, confirmed that the video is authentic. 

A colleague of the announcer can be heard in the background saying the password depends on the Olympics organizers, and asking the announcer if it's on a paper or post it close-by. 

Turns out the password was "Booth.03" after the number of the commentator's booth. 

"Even the dot to make it more complicated, as if it was NASA's computer," he said on the air. "Next time they will even put a semicolon."

"Ma porca miseria," he concluded, using a popular italian swearing that literally means "pork's misery" but is more accurately translated to "for god's sake."

Zanero joked to his Twitter followers that "next time you hear people chatting about super sophisticated policies and cybersecurity products, you can respond with this video."

While the snafu is embarrassing, the actual impact of making such a password public is likely limited. Access to those computers at commentators' booths is likely restricted, especially because there is no public at any Olympics' events due to COVID-19 risks.