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Manchester United assisted by UK cyber security agency following attack

Manchester United assisted by UK cyber security agency following attack
© Reuters
As of Thursday night, club staff still did not have access to email, and some other functions were also unavailable.

The UK’s cyber security agency is assisting Manchester United over a cyber attack earlier this month which has left the football club unable to yet fully restore its computer systems.

The Premier League club confirmed the hacking on November 20 and said it was not “aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers”.

As of Thursday night, club staff still did not have access to email, and some other functions were also unavailable.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is now assisting the team.

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 impact.”

On Thursday, the Premier League side reiterated they were not currently aware of any fan data being affected.

In a statement, United said: “Following the recent cyber attack on the club, our IT team and external experts secured our networks and have conducted forensic investigations.”

The club said it would not comment on who was “responsible for this attack or the motives”.

The statement continued: “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.”

Last week, United informed the Information Commissioner’s Office, as required.

They could face a fine from the data regulator if fan data is compromised as a result of the cyber attack.

On November 13, Ticketmaster was issued a £1.25 million fine for failing to keep its customers’ personal data secure in a 2018 attack.

Earlier this month, the NCSC’s annual review showed the organisation defended the UK from more than 700 cyber attacks over the last year.

It noted a rise in the number of ransomware attacks – where attackers lock access to data until a ransom is paid – being deployed.

The NCSC said it dealt with more than three times as many ransomware incidents compared with last year and noted that criminals were changing their approach during such attacks to increasingly threaten to leak information publicly unless payment is made.

United’s network has been affected by ransomware, the Daily Mail reported.

The NCSC’s report also revealed it had scanned more than one million IP addresses linked to the NHS for vulnerabilities as part of efforts to protect the health service.

Out of 723 cyber incidents between September 2019 and the end of August this year handled by the agency, 194 were directly linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Chelsea1985633231029
9Southampton188552621529
10Arsenal198382319427
11Aston Villa1682629181126
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Burnley185491022-1219
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

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