Hackers who targeted Premier League club Manchester United last Friday are reportedly demanding millions of pounds in ransom in exchange for not releasing sensitive files associated with the club and its players, the Daily Mail has revealed.
Manchester United announced a cyber attack targeting their systems last Friday, stating that organised cyber criminals launched a "sophisticated operation" that caused an IT disruption, the scale of which was not revealed by the club.
"Manchester United can confirm that the club has experienced a cyber attack on our systems. The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimise the ongoing IT disruption," the club statement read.
"Although this is a sophisticated operation by organised cyber criminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this risk. Our cyber defences identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.
"Club media channels, including our website and app, are unaffected and we are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers. All critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational and tomorrow’s game against West Bromwich Albion will go ahead."
Late last night, the Daily Mail revealed that hackers behind the cyber attack are demanding millions of pounds in ransom from the club in exchange for not releasing sensitive files associated with the club and its players.
The paper reported that despite Manchester United's claims that they have restored access to all IT systems, hackers "still have United in their grip" and may leak "highly sensitive information about the club and its stars" if the club does not pay up.
In response, Manchester United have said they will not comment on reports around who may have been responsible for this attack or the motives behind it but insisted that even though the cyber attack was disruptive, it did not lead to the loss of any data.
"Following the recent cyber attack on the club, our IT team and external experts secured our networks and have conducted forensic investigations. 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. The club will not be commenting on speculation regarding who may have been responsible for this attack or the motives behind it," the club said.
According to the BBC, the cyber attack is continuing to cause major disruption with emails not working throughout the week but "investigative and recovery work aimed at ensuring their internal systems are safe is at an advanced stage".