Feb 15 — According to San Francisco 49ers spokespersons, the team recently suffered a network security incident. Confirmation of the attack emerged as their data began to appear on the dark web.
The attack did not appear to affect computer systems involved in the team’s stadium operations, or those related to ticket processing. Upon discovery of the incident, administrators swiftly took action to mitigate the issue.
The attack manifested shortly ahead of this year’s Super Bowl LVI event. Cyber criminals claim to have stolen critical data from the team, including financial information. The San Francisco 49ers are worth an estimated $4.175B, and represent the sixth most valuable team in the National Football League (NFL).
Who’s behind it
Experts believe that a group of cyber criminals known as BlackByte are behind the attack. As of November, BlackByte had compromised several US-based and international organizations, including groups within critical infrastructure sectors (financial firms, government facilities, food and agriculture).
The FBI has recently issued an advisory warning all organizations to remain on the lookout for BlackByte ransomware. As the 49ers continue to investigate their incident, it’s worth noting that this type of attack could occur within any organization.