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Manchester United email servers stay offline amid what is being called a ‘ransomware’ attack

Manchester United email servers stay offline amid what is being called a ‘ransomware’ attack
Players' managers looking to lift salaries by a couple of million pounds or so better check their email read receipts: a full week after Manchester United was hit by hackers, many of its systems remain offline, with at least one report claiming the club is being shaken down for ransom. The malware hit the New…

Players’ managers looking to raise salaries by a couple of million pounds or so much better inspect their email checked out invoices: a full week after Manchester United was struck by hackers, a lot of its systems remain offline, with a minimum of one report claiming the club is being shaken down for ransom.

The malware hit the New york city Stock Exchange-listed football organization last Friday and it confirmed the attack that night.

Today, scare-mongering UK national paper the Daily Mail declared this was due to the fact that the club was really being held to ransom. “United’s network has actually been infected by ransomware– a virus– and they now deal with the option of needing to pay up or risk seeing extremely delicate information about the club and its stars leaked into the general public domain,” stated the newspaper in this early morning’s report


Manchester United dealing with infosec professionals to ‘lessen ongoing IT interruption’ triggered by ‘cyber attack’


In a statement, the football club informed The Register: “Following the recent cyber attack on the club, our IT group and external experts protected our networks and have actually carried out forensic investigations. This attack was by nature disruptive, however we are not presently familiar with any fan information being jeopardized.”

The Register asked whether gamer or worker data had been compromised and a club spokesman decreased to comment.

The Guy U statement continued: “Vital systems needed for matches to happen at Old Trafford stayed protected and video games have actually gone on as normal. The club will not be commenting on speculation regarding who may have been responsible for this attack or the intentions behind it.”

We understand that personnel will be paid as regular which the club’s email servers were shut down as a preventive step, while investigators have not yet revealed what the attack vector was.

The club spokesperson would again not be drawn on whether the attack was ransomware as reported but restated the club has informed the Information Commissioner’s Workplace of the attack, something that is compulsory for organisations to do if individual data is compromised in a data security occurrence.

Jon Niccolls, EMEA & APAC occurrence action lead at Examine Point, told The Register: ” It’s not a surprise that the attack which hit the club is apparently a ‘double extortion’ ransomware attack, where the hackers both steal information and threaten to leakage it unless their demands are fulfilled, along with securing it to disrupt typical operations. These attacks were first seen a year earlier, and have actually been a fast-growing trend in 2020 because they put extra pressure on organizations to pay the ransom or run the risk of big fines from data watchdogs if large volumes of people’ information is compromised.”

Cyber attacks that take more than a few days to tidy up and restore from do tend to be ransomware, though there is no evidence in any case in Guy United’s case so far.

The National Cyber Security Centre is helping the club determine what happened and how to recuperate from it. A spokesperson stated: “The NCSC is aware of an event impacting Manchester United Football Club and we are working with the organisation and partners to comprehend impact.”

Previously this year the NCSC alerted that football clubs were especially vulnerable to internet-enabled skulduggery including company email compromise attacks, thanks mainly to the large amounts of money cleaning around the sport and its practice of moving said large sums at foreseeable times such as transfer due date day.

The aftermath of a ransomware attack can be uncomfortable for a couple of days if done from backups, or it can be devastating. Earlier this week French-headquartered IT outsourcer Sopra Steria stated cleaning up a Ryuk infection would cost it EUR50 m and bust its cyber-insurance limitation by EUR20 m ®


While the Daily Mail priced quote no sources nor offered any details about how it had the ability to state that the attack was ransomware, it also released an accidentally amusing article bylined to an anonymous “cyber security professional”. Some samples include:

” If the infection is ransomware there will be a need for money. I would put my home on it remaining in the millions, and 99 times out of 100 it’s Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) since that is the hardest to trace.”

” There’s no telephone call or verbal communication. A little face or symbol will appear informing you that your system is being assaulted by group A, B or C, so pay this amount to unencrypt it.”

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