Manchester United computer systems were hacked (cyber attack) by some anonymous hackers on November 20. It has left United unable to fully restore its computer systems and, as of now, staff did not have access to email – while other functions also remained unavailable.
A Daily Mail (h/t Daily Star) report is claiming that Manchester United are being held to ransom for millions by hackers just weeks after being attacked by the cybercriminals.
The problem gets worse by the fact that the system has been hacked by the ransomware. Premier League giants face the risk of having sensitive data leaked if they refuse to pay up the millions being asked for as ransom.
Manchester United released an official statement regarding the incident and assured fans that their data has not been jeopardized and the information critical to matchdays is secured.
“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.”– Manchester United stated in their public statement
Manchester United football club sought the help of the National Cyber Security Centre, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is assisting the team to overcome the situation.
A spokesperson said:
“The NCSC is aware of an incident affecting Manchester United Football
Club and we are working with the organisation and partners to understand the impact.”
The hacking has also thrown the Manchester United scouting operation into chaos. The Mirror says it’s feared confidential material regarding player targets and on-going scouting missions may have been compromised in the sophisticated and malicious attack.
Manchester United to be fined in response to cyber attack?
The Red Devils could reportedly face a fine of up to £15 million if they pay the ransom money demanded by hackers who infiltrated the club’s computer systems.
The Daily Mail also reported that the Premier League giants could face a large fine of £15 million due to US legislation, with the Red Devils subject to US law as they are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has also warned against paying up to the hackers, who would likely be encouraged to carry out further attacks if their demands are met.
United have revealed investigations are still ongoing by forensic cyber experts to discover what, if any, sensitive material the hackers may have harvested during their operation.
This situation didn’t cost Manchester United anything on-field results. They have won their last two matches since this incident occurred and it is to be seen what will happen this weekend.