England briefs its football players on Russian Cyber Threats

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England Football Squad which is on a visit to Russia to participate in the FIFA World Cup Football 2018 was briefed by officials from GCHQ on how to protect their personal data from being siphoned by Russian hackers.

Furthermore, the England Football squad was provided with a temporary ‘burner phones’ which will be used during the trip and destroyed after the squad reaches Britain after the event.

Earlier, reports suggested that phones loaded with military grade security software will be provided to the players during the event. But now, the news is out that 36-52 burner phones were issued to the players in the last minute, which will be destroyed as soon as the players return to their abode after the FIFA World Cup Football event.

Also, no England player is allowed to access their online banking accounts during the event and will not be allowed to post any kind of activity of their respective social media accounts.

The advice on the cybersecurity was made in a seminar hosted by National Cyber Security Center- a unit of GCHQ; at the Football Association Headquarters in St. George’s Park.

Earlier, British sports stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins were targeted by hackers from Russia in the past. This was in retaliation to the ban imposed on Russian players competing at the Rio Summer Olympics due to a doping scandal.

Thus, Ciaran Martin, the spokesperson of NCSC feels that educating the football players of their country will help them in mitigating risks associated with cyber attacks.

Note- The ‘expert cybersecurity advice’ given to players includes how to use digital devices during the event, avoiding connecting to public wifi’s, special screening software   installed on their devices which will be used during the event, adding contacts and making new friends on social media platforms which is a strict ‘no’ and such.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cyber Security Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security