A UK football club faced a ransomware attack earlier this week. The attackers asked for 400 bitcoins in ransom to give decryption keys. The hackers had encrypted all its security and corporate systems. This incident prompted the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to issue a warning saying football teams are at an increased risk of ransomware attacks and phishing campaigns. The cryptocurrency-related scams have increased significantly amid the ongoing global pandemic.
The club did not pay the ransom to hackers.
The UK football club that was asked to pay 400 bitcoin didn’t pay up, and the hackers went forward with their attack, leading to severe financial damages, reportedly several hundred thousand pounds, including remediation for the club. The UK National Cyber Security Centre said the hackers attacked by either a phishing email or the club’s CCTV systems were remotely accessed to install malware. The cybersecurity agency noted, “Several servers were also affected, leaving the club unable to use their corporate email.” The stadium CCTV and turnstiles were non-operational, which almost resulted in a fixture cancellation,” it added.
Crypto scams increase amid the ongoing pandemic.
Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had issued a warning saying that hackers might be looking to unleash a surge in crypto-related scams. According to the NCSC warning, over 70% of UK sports organizations have experienced a cybersecurity breach in 2020. Earlier, Singapore also reported a significant uptick in the ransomware attacks that occurred last year.
Earlier, it was reported that the largest telecommunications company in Argentina called Telecom had become a victim of a ransomware attack. The attackers are reportedly demanding a $7.5 million ransom to be paid using Monero (XMR), which is a privacy-centric coin. Scammers use privacy coins like Monero because they are tougher to trace back to users for the law enforcement agencies.