Popular United Kingdom-based football club, Manchester United, revealed that it has suffered a significant data breach on its systems. The company announced its acknowledgment of the cyber attack in a short press release last Friday, November 20, 2020.
The attack came as the club was set to play against West Bromwich Albion during the weekend, forcing the firm to shut down a number of its internal systems, shares Forbes.
Based on its press release, the football club dubs the attack as a “sophisticated operation by cyber criminals.” This resulted in Manchester United’s systems to take a hit, with its systems suffering from IT disruptions every so often.
Despite issuing a press release, details surrounding the incident remain scant, with the football team failing to provide more in-depth information on the breach. It did, however, say that the fan site is safe, alongside its website and mobile app.
According to Forbes, although the investigation is still underway, Manchester United believes that no personal data has been compromised in the cybersecurity incident, may it be from a customer or an employee.
In a statement to The Guardian, a United representative said that “these types of attacks are becoming more and more common and are something you have to rehearse for.”
Despite the breach, the football club maintains that it is confident with how it handled the cybersecurity attack.
In its press release, it said that “the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this risk. Our cyber defenses identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.”
In light of such attacks on the company, United has already gotten in touch with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to report the incident. Furthermore, The Guardian also reports that the football club has also enacted forensic tracing to establish and provide more concrete details about the breach.
The club is also currently working with security experts and agencies to probe further into the issue and get its systems back to running. ZD Net states that United also reached out to inform the Manchester police about the incident.
Attacks on popular football clubs are not new. Besides Manchester United, ZD Net states that FC Liverpool’s IT network was also compromised in July of 2018. Meanwhile, other UK teams have also been targets of spear-phishing attacks and attackers aiming to capture club payments.