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August 22, 2017

What UK businesses should learn from football doping hack

Russian hacking group strikes again, this time going after doping in football.

By Ellie Burns

Russian hacking group Fancy Bears have gone to war on doping in football, having released a number of documents which supposedly name and shame those who have failed doping tests and were allowed banned medicines.

In the leak, entitled “Fancy Bears’ Hack Team Dispels the Myth about Doping-free Football’, the hackers posted three links to documents claiming that two showed World Anti-Doping Agency statistics for failed tests in 2015 and 2016, with the third document containing the names of 25 players who were allowed to take banned medicines during the 2010 World Cup.

“You can have a look at WADA documents revealing that more than 150 players were caught doping in 2015. The next year this number increased up to 200 athletes,” Fancy Bears said in their online statement.

“Today Fancy Bears’ hack team is publishing the material leaked from various sources related to football. Football players and officials unanimously affirm that this kind of sport is free of doping. Our team perceived these numerous claims as a challenge and now we will prove they are lying.”

According to the documents, 25 World Cup players were given Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) and included ex-Premier League stars Carlos Tevez, Dirk Kuyt and Gabriel Heinze.

In the other two documents, the Russian hacking group detailed failed doping tests, of which four were registered by UK Anti-Doping. Three players allegedly tested positive for cocaine, with another testing positive for ecstasy.

While football fans will be intrigued to find out the names of those who have apparently failed drugs tests, this latest leak should also serve as a warning to all UK businesses.

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“The Fancy Bears breach illustrates how important it is to protect personal information; even more so than financial information. While financial fraud can impact individuals, there are usually safeguards in place that can help recover from a loss. However, once personal information is revealed, particularly information that can impact someone’s livelihood or public image, it is not as easy to manage,” said Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault.

“It serves as a sobering reminder of how all organizations that process, or store any form of personal data need to have adequate threat detection and response controls in place so that any breach or potential breach can be addressed quickly to minimize the damage.”

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