San Francisco 49ers allegedly hit with a ransomware attack


With the Super Bowl done and over with, the attention to football is generally put off until next season. But in the case of the San Francisco 49ers, we’re talking ransomware attack. The ransomware outfit named BlackByte says they’ve made off with some of the San Francisco 49ers’ financial data.

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The San Francisco 49ers, which is among the most valuable and storied franchises in the NFL and lost a close playoff game two week ago, said in a statement Sunday that it recently became aware of a “network security incident” that had disrupted some of its corporate IT network systems. The 49ers said they’d notified law enforcement and hired cybersecurity firms to assist.

“To date, we have no indication that this incident involves systems outside of our corporate network, such as those connected to Levi’s Stadium operations or ticket holders,” the team said in a statement, referencing its home stadium.

Ransomware gangs, which hack targets and hold their data hostage through encryption, have caused widespread havoc in the last year with high-profile attacks on the world’s largest meat-packing company, the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline and other targets. Western governments have pledged to crack down on the cyber criminals, who operate largely in and around Russia, but have little to show for their efforts.

AP News

Tim Erlin is the VP of strategy at Tripwire, and he had this to add to the ransomware attack on the San Francisco 49ers:

“The increasing professionalization of ransomware groups is an outcome of ransomware’s success as a tool. More organized, professional groups increase the threat, but they also change the landscape for law enforcement.

Organized criminal groups are not new, and the larger the group, the more of a footprint they’re likely to have. While individual attackers have been difficult to catch, more organized groups are more susceptible to established international initiatives against organized crime. We should expect to see significant law enforcement action designed to thwart and capture these groups.“

Tim Erlin, VP of Strategy at Tripwire

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