HACKERS are holding Manchester United to ransom for millions of pounds following a cyber attack on the club’s computer systems a week ago.
The club confirmed last week that it had been the target of a “sophisticated operation by organised criminals”, and has since brought in a team of technical experts to contain the attack.
Hackers are holding Man United to ransom for millions following a cyber attack last week[/caption]
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have also confirmed they are assisted the club, but the situation is understood to be ongoing.
The club’s network has been infected by ransomware, a kind of virus that threatens to release the target’s data or to block access to it altogether unless a ransom is paid, the Mail reported.
The NCSC told the Mail: “The NCSC is aware of an incident affecting Manchester United Football Club and we are working with the organisation and partners to understand impact.”
The identity of the attackers and the amount being demand are currently unclear.
The club could face fines of up to £18million or four percent of its global annual turnover – whichever is higher – if it is found to have breached fans’ rights under data protection laws.
It has, however, assured supporters that it is not aware of any breach of fans’ data.
A statement released to the Mail read: “Following the recent cyber attack on the club, our IT team and external experts secured our networks and have conducted forensic investigations.
“This attack was by nature disruptive, but we are not currently aware of any fan data being compromised.
“Critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remained secure and games have gone ahead as normal.
“The club will not be commenting on speculation regarding who may have been responsible for this attack or the motives behind it.”
The club has also said that the incident will not impact future matches.
Its next game set to take place at Old Trafford is a group stage Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.
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It comes after a report from the NCSC in July revealed that 70 percent of sports organisations had been the target of a cyber attack of the previous 12 months – double the average rate of UK firms.
It said that one English Football League side almost had to postpone a match in 2019 after it refused to pay a £5million ransom and was left unable to operate the security cameras or turnstiles at its stadium.
The Sun Online had approached Manchester United for comment.