Manchester United Reports Cyber Attack, but Says User Data is Safe

Manchester United joins the laundry-list of sports teams who had been hit by a cyber-attack, although the English club reveals that the fans' data is safe. 

The Red Devils released a declaration that a group of cybercriminals has hit its technology system in a ''sophisticated'' operation. 

"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," the statement reads. 

Manchester United has immediately responded by implying strict cyber protocols and shutting down the impacted system to protect data. Club portals, including the website and the official app, were unaffected. 

"All critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational," the statement ends. 

Furthermore, Manchester United vows to alert the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about the issue to seek further details. ICO is an official organization in the United Kingdom tasked to protect users from data frauds and companies' lack of security. 

Fortunately, the attack did not affect United's latest Premier League game, which resulted in a controversial 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion. Bruno Fernandes successfully converted his second penalty kick after the refs ruled out his first attempt.  

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Not the First Time

Several sports clubs, including NBA regular Atlanta Hawks, have been targeted by cybercriminals. 

Last year, the Blackhawks' online store was hacked. The attackers planted malicious malware on the website, letting them harvest its users' private information, including names, addresses, and credit card details. 

Magecart, an international cyberattack crime syndicate, is known to be behind Atlanta Hawk's hack. The group persistently steals customers' data by detecting loopholes in big companies' websites, including Ticketmaster and Forbes. 

It's still unclear whether Magecart has anything to do with Manchester United's attack, but the alarming threat is there. 

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Most Vulnerable Industry

Sky News revealed earlier this July that several English Premier League clubs have their emails hacked by malicious third-party hackers. 70% of major sports organizations in the country suffer a cyber-attack every year, making it the most vulnerable industry to the attack. 

One of them nearly lost a whopping $1.3 million during the transfer window last summer. Thanks to the bank's late intervention, the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) was alerted, and the deal fell through. 

Another one, which shall remain nameless, nearly canceled their match after CCTV cameras and turnstiles in the stadium have stopped working.

As for Manchester United, Paul Pogba and co are gearing up to play Istanbul Basaksehir for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in Old Trafford.  

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