FIFA computers hacked, expecting release of private information
'We are concerned by the fact that some information has been obtained illegally': Infantino
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is braced for a release of private information gained by hackers after world soccer's governing body said its computer network was subject to another cyberattack.
The disclosure comes in the same month the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI said Russia's military intelligence body was responsible for a hack on FIFA in 2016, which led to evidence from anti-doping investigations and lab results being published.
FIFA did not provide details about the information gained in the latest attack on email systems but it has been contacted by media outlets about information contained in private exchanges.
"The questions we received we answered," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said when asked about what could be released. "My job entails having discussions, having conversations, exchanging documents, drafts, ideas, whatever, on many, many, many, many, topics. Otherwise you don't go anywhere.
"I mean, if I just have to stay in my room and not speak to anyone and cannot do anything, how can I do my job properly? So if then this is being portrayed as something bad, I think there's not much I can do more than my job in an honest way, in a professional way and trying to defend the interests of football."
FIFA would not disclose when attack happened but issued a statement saying it "condemns any attempts to compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in any organization using unlawful practices."
"Of course, we are concerned by the fact that some information has been obtained illegally," it said.
Soccer has been hit by the release of confidential information in recent years, including a group called "Football Leaks." Through the European Investigative Collaborations, it has released details on the financial arrangements of top footballers, which have led to tax evasion convictions, and a rape allegation against five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo. The EIC did not respond to emails in the last week about the potential release of information from FIFA.
Subject of phishing attempts
European soccer's governing body has also been subject to phishing attempts to gain access to its email accounts and received questions on cases going back several years. Infantino was general secretary at UEFA until 2016 when he was elected president of FIFA.
"We are not stealing," Infantino said. "What counts is do things in an appropriate way."
Cybersecurity is under constant review at the world governing body.
"FIFA takes all necessary measures to adequately respond to security incidents as well as to continuously improve the security of its IT environment," the Zurich-based organization said.