In February, the BlackByte Ransomware-as-a-Service Group claimed 49ers as victims.
More than 20,000 Americans will be notified by the San Francisco 49ers cybersecurity that online attackers stole their name and Social Security number in a February network security incident. With a net worth of $3.8 billion, the girdiron team is one of the world’s most valuable sports franchises, according to Forbes.
According to the National Football League member, unauthorised access to its corporate network occurred between February 6 and February 11. BlackByte, a ransomware-as-a-service provider, claimed responsibility for the attack at the time. Adding the team to its list of victims on the leak site.
Letters sent to 20,930 people reveal few details about the incident, other than the fact that the team hired an outside cybersecurity firm. The company says “it is taking precautions to avoid future incidents, such as “measures to further enhance our security protocols and continued education and training for our employees.”
A 49ers spokesman tells Information Security Media Group that the team is sorry for the incident. “We take our responsibility to protect personal and sensitive information entrusted to us seriously. We are committed to working with cybersecurity experts to ensure protection from any future similar incidents,” Jacob Fill says. When asked if the incident involved ransomware, he did not respond. The 49ers are providing affected individuals with a year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection.
The likely February ransomware attack came just days after the FBI issued a warning to businesses to be on the lookout for BlackByte. The ransomware was used by operators who targeted victims in the critical infrastructure sectors of government facilities. Also, the financial industry, and food and agriculture, according to an advisory co-authored by the agency and the Secret Service.
According to Cisco Talos Intelligence Group, BlackByte is a “big game ransomware group” whose malware targets wealthy, high-profile targets.
There’s no doubt that the 49ers have money. The team recently signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a one-year contract worth at least $6.5 million and up to $16 million, making Garoppolo one of the most expensive backup quarterbacks in the NFL.