Premier League club nearly lost £1million when transfer deal was targeted by cyber criminals

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A Premier League club almost lost £1m during a transfer deal after they were targeted by cyber criminals.

The club director’s emails were hacked whilst negotiations were ongoing over a player sale to a European outfit.

A sum of £1m was almost diverted into a different account after the director was conned into revealing his username and password.

Only the club’s bank account blocking the transaction prevented the sum of money from ending up in the wrong hands.

It has also been revealed that hackers managed to shut down a Football League club’s stadium hours before a match.

The contest was also postponed after the offenders were able to suspend security systems and blocked electronic turnstiles.

They attempted to hold a club to ransom by demanding 400 bitcoins and nearly £3m to stop their attack.

Sports teams have been warned that they are seen as high value targets by the National Cyber Security Centre, the organisation whose reports uncovered the hacking.

Thier director of operations, Paul Chichester, has called on sports outfits to increase their security systems with the threat of cyber criminals being labelled as “very real”.

He said: “Sport is a pillar of many of our lives and we’re eagerly anticipating the return to full stadiums and a busy sporting calendar.

“While cybersecurity might not be an obvious consideration for the sports sector as it thinks about its return, our findings show the impact of cybercriminals cashing in on this industry is very real.

“I would urge sporting bodies to use this time to look at where they can improve their cybersecurity – doing so now will help protect them and millions of fans from the consequences of cybercrime.”

Sir Hugh Robertson, chair of the British Olympic Association, also said in the report: “This report is a crucial first step, helping sports organisations to better understand the threat and highlighting practical steps that organisation should take to improve cybersecurity practices.”

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