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Manchester United Confirms No Evidence of Data Theft in Nov 21 Cyber Attack

Manchester United has confirmed that no evidence of personal data theft has been found so far in the cyber attack targeted at the club servers last week. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United has confirmed that no evidence of personal data theft has been found so far in the cyber attack targeted at the club servers last week. (Image: Getty)

English football club Manchester United FC has stated that while their systems were indeed hit by an extensive cyber attack, they had “rehearsed” for such situations, and no critical data was lost or systems brought down.

Manchester United FC, one of the world’s largest football clubs, confirmed last weekend that certain sections of their internal information technology (IT) infrastructure were hit by a “sophisticated” cyber attack, suspected to be executed by “organised cyber criminals”. However, the club has claimed that they have so far not found evidence of any data linked to their fans and subscribers being compromised, which is the first direct impact of cyber attacks on major organisations nowadays. According to a statement issued by a Manchester United spokesperson, no major internal disruption was caused by the attack, either.

The full statement on the matter by the club read, “Manchester United can confirm that the club has experienced a cyber attack on our systems. The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimise the ongoing IT disruption. Although this is a sophisticated operation by organised cyber criminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this eventuality.

“Our cyber defences identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data. Club media channels, including our website and app, are unaffected and we are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers. We are confident that all critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational.”

Major organisations being targeted by organised cyber criminals or hacker groups is nothing new or uncommon, and the typical primary motivation behind these attacks are either to scrape user data from company servers are exchange them in relevant markets for financial gains, or to inject ransomware into company systems, shut servers down and hold organisations for ransom – typically demanded in cryptocurrencies. At the moment, it is not clear as to what the end-target of the cyber attack on Manchester United’s servers were.

Given that the club claims to have managed to shut down the affected systems in time and block out the attack from most of its systems, it is likely that they succeeded in averting a major cyber security breach. In the present cyber climate, most companies are encouraged to have increasing security protocols, which in turn can prove to be significantly more beneficial than the lackadaisical, afterthought approach that organisations have taken to cyber security so far.


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