Fifa is bracing itself for a fresh release of private information obtained by hackers. The World governing body for football has revealed that its computer network has been subject to another cyberattack.
The nature of the information gained during the data breach in March is not yet clear, but the New York Times newspaper claims that a consortium of European media organisations could publish stories based on the internal documents as early astomorrow (Friday).
News of the latest hack targeting FIFA follows shortly after the US Department of Justice and the FBI have confirmed that a group linked to Russia’s intelligence agency was responsible for a breach of Fifa’s data in 2017, which led to the publication of a list of football players who had failed drug tests. This attack is not thought to be linked to the one by Russia last year.
Despite not revealing what information has been stolen, Fifa has criticised the leaks in a statement. “Fifa condemns any attempts to compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in any organisation using unlawful practices. Of course, we are concerned by the fact that some information has been obtained illegally.”
Uefa has also been targeted by phishing attempts to gain log-in details to its email systems, but European soccer’s governing body has not been able to find evidence of a hack in its computer networks.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who was previously general secretary at Uefa, has pleaded innocence responding the news agency Associated Press, and responded by pleading his innocence, iterating that he tries to do his work “in an appropriate way.”
“The questions we received, we answered,” Infantino said, when quizzed about what information could be published. “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 has been rocked in recent years by material including emails, messages and contracts being shared by Football Leaks, a whistleblowing website which has published internal information obtained from soccer’s governing body. The leaks have exposed secrets relating to issues such as transfer market regulations and tax evasion by players and coaches.