Last Friday afternoon Manchester United confirmed it had suffered a cyberattack. Although the team’s network was breached, the club stated it was not “aware of any breach of personal data associated with fans or customers.”
Attack Impact on Club Minimized
Manchester United, which is described as the “third most valuable soccer team in the world” by Forbes, was recently hacked. With the club valued at over $3.8 billion it’s easy to understand why cybercriminals may wish to compromise its systems.
On Friday afternoon, Manchester United football club announced that its network had been breached. The announcement described the attack as a “sophisticated operation by organized cybercriminals.”
At this stage it is not known who conducted the attack. However, the club had apparently prepared for such an incident and was therefore able to minimize its impact. The club stated that it “has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this risk.” Once the team became aware of the attack, it immediately shutdown all affected systems to prevent the malware from spreading.
The club is working with security experts to investigate the incident and reduce IT disruption. Manchester police has also been notified as well as the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office. Furthermore, a forensic investigation is being carried out to gain further insight into the attack.
No Data Breached
Although the forensic investigation is still in its early stages, Manchester United believes no data was accessed during the attack. All personal data belonging to either store customers or fans is currently believed to have remained protected.
The club’s website, app and streaming media were also not affected by the attack. Moreover, the match-day systems remained secure and were operational for the match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Manchester United is not the only football club that has suffered a cyberattack. In 2018 Liverpool’s IT systems were hacked and personal information of club fans with season tickets was stolen. Other UK football clubs have suffered spear-phishing attacks and Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams. One club was targeted with a ransomware attack that impacted its gate turnstiles and prevented fans from entering their stadium.