MANCHESTER UNITED’S January transfer plans are in chaos after their scouting network was hacked amid the club’s ongoing cyber attack scandal.
The Mirror reports the Red Devils fear confidential material regarding player targets and active scouting missions may have been compromised.
United confirmed last week that the club was hit by a ‘sophisticated operation by organised criminals’.
The assault on their computer systems reportedly left staff still locked out of club email accounts a week after the event.
United have brought in a team of technical experts to contain the damage but could face a £15million fine if they pay a ransom to hackers.
United are owned by the American Glazer family and as the club are listed on the New York Stock Exchange they are subject to US law.
If they paid a fee they would be breaking legislation and could be sanctioned by the US Treasury.
Hackers are understood to be holding United to ransom for millions of pounds with the possibility they will leak sensitive information or block access to it.
The identity of the attackers and the amount being demanded are currently unclear but paying a lump sum would not guarantee information isn’t leaked.
United revealed their internal investigation to assess the extent of the security breach is still ongoing but the club are also at risk of being slapped with a fine in the UK if data security laws are found to have been breached.
The Red Devils have been knocked back by the unexpected disruption with the January transfer window just weeks away.
United operate an extensive global scouting operation with a sophisticated network and advanced planning is well underway ahead of the next two windows.
As is common with all top clubs, United use a bespoke online scouting system based on analysis, data and video footage.
The report states that the system is being looked at as part of the forensic investigation.
Files are kept on transfer targets and the confidential material inside as well as United stars’ sensitive private information may have been targeted.
United say they are not aware of any…