Premier League club almost loses £1m after cyber criminals hacked transfer deal




Football


Premier League club almost lost £1million as cyber criminals attempted to hack and sabotage a transfer deal.

Professional sports organisations have been urged to tighten their online security after it was revealed football clubs have been targeted by hackers.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the email address of a Premier League club’s managing director had been hacked during a transfer negotiation, and only intervention from the bank prevented the club losing around £1million.

But that was only one of several incidents highlighted as evidence that sport needed to improve its cyber security, having faced increased pressure from cyber criminals activity.

Another breach almost saw an English Football League fixture postponed after a club was hit by ransomware which cut off its security systems and blocked turnstiles.

The Cyber Threat to Sports Organisations report also revealed that a member of staff at a racecourse lost £15,000 after attempting to buy groundskeeping equipment from a spoofed version of eBay.

The NCSC said its report found hackers were trying to compromise sporting organisations on a daily basis, often by targeting business email or using ransomware to shut down critical systems.

It has urged clubs and businesses to put security measures in place and back up data to help prevent such incidents.

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EFL teams have also been targeted, with a game nearly having to be postponed after a hack meant turnstiles didn’t work and fans couldn’t enter the stadium

EFL teams have also been targeted, with a game nearly having to be postponed after a hack meant turnstiles didn’t work and fans couldn’t enter the stadium
Paul Chichester, director of operations at the NCSC, said: “Sport is a pillar of many of our lives and we’re eagerly anticipating the return to full stadiums and a busy sporting calendar.

“While cyber security might not be an obvious consideration for the sports sector as it thinks about its return, our findings show the impact of cyber criminals cashing in on this industry is very real.

“I would urge sporting bodies to use this time to look at where they can improve their cyber security – doing so now will help protect them and millions of fans from the consequences of cyber crime.”

According to the report, around 30 per cent of incidents caused direct financial damage, averaging around £10,000 each time, with the biggest single loss being over £4million.

More than 70 per cent of those businesses surveyed said they had experienced at least one incident in the past year, with 30 per cent saying they had witnessed more than five in that time.

Credit: talksport.com/football
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