By Cyber Security Expert
Published: 22:30 GMT, 26 November 2020 | Updated: 23:29 GMT, 26 November 2020
After it emerged Manchester United have fallen victim to a computer virus attack, Sportsmail spoke to a cyber-security expert about the dilemma now facing the club...Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The fact that this is still going on a week after the first attack proves it’s sophisticated, not some little virus that has got in.
Manchester United are in big trouble and it makes me think this is bigger than they’re letting on. There are no good news stories coming out. It’s the embarrassment as well. They’re the biggest club in the world and someone has pulled their pants down.
If the virus is ransomware there will be a demand for money. I would put my house on it being in the millions, and 99 times out of 100 it’s Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) because that is the hardest to trace.
Manchester United are being held to ransom for millions of pounds by cyber criminals
Gone are the days of a brown envelope being left on a park bench for someone to pick up or transferring money to offshore accounts. At state level — US or UK cyber-security — Bitcoin can be traced but the cyber-guys at United are not going to have that ability.
Most of the people who do this stuff are clever. They don’t ask for £1billion because they know United can’t pay that. It’s a bit like a kidnap ransom.
They will ask for a substantial amount and know what the club can and can’t pay. I’m confident United have £5m in the bank and can pay pretty quickly if they have to.
I’m 99 per cent certain this is an organised crime gang. It could be a 16-year-old kid sat in his pants in his bedroom who has nothing better to do than hack into the Pentagon, or it could be the Russians or corporate espionage — a rival club trying to devalue United’s share price and divert their focus from what they’re trying to do on the pitch — but I doubt it.
If they’ve encrypted United’s data — converting it to code or symbols to ensure it cannot be understood — they will say to the club: ‘If you