Despite the disappointing results in recent years, the Red Devils Manchester United has always been the most commercialized club in the world. For many years, they have been the world’s highest-revenue football club, with annual revenue of more than 600 million pounds. It was not until 2024 that Manchester United gave up the first place in both the commercial revenue and brand value lists.
Perhaps this is also the main reason why cyber hackers are eyeing Manchester United. “People who are stupid and money love to raise prices” have become a stereotype of the management of Manchester United. (The author of this article is also a fan of the Red Devils, so he is self-defeating.)
According to British media reports, the Manchester United club was attacked by hackers last week. The hackers took control of the club’s computer system and prevented the staff from accessing the Internet. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has stepped in to provide technical assistance. After media exposure, the Manchester United club admitted that it had been hacked, but said that “it has not found any leakage of the personal data of fans and consumers.”
A Manchester United spokesperson reiterated today that the fan data has not yet been affected. “After the recent cyber attack, the club’s IT department and external experts are strengthening the network and conducting judicial investigations…. The attack was destructive, but no fan data has been found to be affected. The key to Old Trafford Stadium The system is still safe, and the game is going on as usual.”
After being hacked, the Manchester United club has notified the British information authorities. The reason why they want to emphasize fan data is that according to British law, even if a hacker attack causes consumer data to be leaked, the target still has to bear responsibility and even face penalties. The ticketing website Ticketmaster was hacked in 2018 and user data was leaked. They finally received a fine of US$1.25 million.
According to data from the National Cyber Security Center of the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom has reported more than 700 cyber attacks in the past year. In these cyber attacks, blackmail attacks are on the increase, that is, hackers lock the computer system of the target and require payment of a ransom before unlocking it. The Manchester United club suffered a blackmail attack. Perhaps the hackers are not interested in the fan data of Manchester United’s computer system, but just want to extort money from the Red Devils. Manchester United is also the first of the world’s top clubs to suffer blackmail attacks.
Extortion attacks are even more rampant in the United States. Companies, universities, hospitals, and government agencies have been locked in computer systems by hackers and asked to pay a bitcoin ransom before they were willing to unlock them. The Detroit city government, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Los Angeles Presbyterian Hospital have all been blackmailed by hackers. Crazy hackers even let the US police station go.
Although the British National Cyber Security Centre has provided technical assistance, until today (November 26), Manchester United staff still cannot access their work mail system. Manchester United refused to disclose the amount of blackmail by the hackers. But according to the British “Daily Mail” report, hackers demanded millions of pounds.
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