Manchester United appear to be ahead of the hack detection, according to a cybersecurity expert who urged the club to share details of the attack on their systems with Premier League rivals

United confirmed on Friday evening that they were the victim of a hack described as “a sophisticated operation by organized cyber criminals”, but are currently not aware of a personal data breach associated with fans and customers

The club revealed that its “cyber defenses identified the attack and shut down the affected systems,” meaning the club’s media channels, including their website and app, were not affected

Tim Mackey, senior security strategist at the Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center, believes cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years and praised United’s anticipation of such an event

He told the PA news agency: “Unlike many organizations, it appears Manchester United has a very well-designed and well-thought-out incident response program.

“This is one of the key things that companies don’t necessarily invest in and should. The fact that they can spot it so quickly is a positive

“We hear stories too often about a cyberattack that happened months ago and they now detect it today Manchester United are able to recognize this as quickly as they did is fantastic”

United says it has informed the Information Commissioner’s Office, as required, as forensic research is underway to establish more details of the attack

When asked what the hackers’ goal was, Mackey replied: “I would like to say that attackers set the rules for their attack

“For some attackers it is simply mischief, for others it is financial motivation, or to actively disrupt a company’s operations and for others it is simply to exploit individuals

“More often than not it is a criminal enterprise Sometimes there are single individuals who do this, but most cyber attacks today are organized crime

“Anecdotally, I’ve seen a significant increase over the last two, three, four years and a slight shift in attack priorities since we entered pandemic lockdowns, working from scenarios at home and things of that nature

“One of the biggest challenges facing organizations from all walks of life is the increasingly sophisticated level of attack So this is a cat and mouse game when it comes to how far you can get an attack

“Understanding what the potential strengths of a business are is one of the key things most organizations really need to invest in as part of their incident response plan”

Mackey believes United, if they haven’t started doing so yet, should get in touch with other top clubs and share information about the experience so they can all protect themselves against future cybercrime

Mackey added: “One of the things that I generally encourage organizations to do is provide some details on how the attack went.

“I think this is a fantastic opportunity for all clubs to go and investigate the level of incident response and their potential ability to identify a threat that may be ongoing

“Manchester United have set the bar for speed of response, how can other clubs at least achieve parity with what Manchester United have been able to demonstrate?

“If I were a club owner, this would be one of the first conversations I would have with my security teams”

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World News – UK – Man Utd ‘set the bar’ in rapid response to cyber attacks, expert says