Angry football fans aiming cyber attacks at UEFA website

Rise of hactivism impacting Euro governing body as fans protest dodgy referee decisions

Football governing body UEFA is subject to a growing number of cyber attacks, with frustrated fans venting their anger by targeting the organisation's website.

According to UEFA's head of ICT, Daniel Marion, the governing body is increasingly the target for hactivist-style attacks, and there has been a sharp rise in the number of DDOS attack in the recent months.

The majority of attacks come during a large event like the European Championship, often originating from irate fans taking aim at UEFA's website in retaliation against contentious footballing decisions and rulings made by UEFA. In some instances attacks are made after Champions League games too, though this is less common, Marion said.

The attacks are generally aimed at disrupting the website rather than attempting to steal any sensitive data from the organisation, and there has been no disruption to services as security investments have increased.

However, UEFA's security team is becoming increasingly busy as the number of attacks rises.

"It has become more of an issue over the last eighteen months," Marion told ComputerworldUK at Cloud World Forum 2013. "Hactivism has been more active in the past two or three years. It has been seen in other areas and now sport. The Olympics went through the exact same thing. In 2008 we had zero and in the last Euros we had everyday attacks.

"When we take disciplinary decisions or sanctions, the fans usually take it as a bad decision. Therefore in the past they could protest only, now they can go online and do a lot of other things.

"This is the big change because now online with the Anonymous-type attacks you can start to create massive attacks even with a crowd of two hundred people."

Click here to read ComputerworldUK's in-depth look at UEFA's ICT challenges...

Tags securityOlympicsinternetcloud computing


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