London (AFP) – England’s World Cup stars have been given a briefing by security experts on how to stay safe from hackers during the tournament in Russia.
Gareth Southgate’s players and his coaching staff received advice from GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on how to protect their personal information and possessions.
Russian hackers have wreaked havoc with global cyber-attacks in recent years, including targeting top British cyclist Bradley Wiggins, and the English Football Association called in the experts in a bid to avoid any World Cup security breaches.
According to a Daily Mail report, protective software has been added to the team’s mobile phones and devices which will only be removed on their return to England.
During the recent seminar at the FA’s headquarters in St George’s Park, England’s players — who arrived in Russia on Tuesday — were advised not to access their online bank accounts while away and to avoid any online activity that could embarrass them if it went public due to hacking.
Players including England captain Harry Kane were also told how to hide their belongings in their hotel rooms, while English fans travelling to Russia got a security warning of their own.
“The NCSC is providing expert cyber security advice to the Football Association ahead of their departure to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” an NCSC spokesperson said.
“A recent NCSC blog highlighted advice for fans using devices while abroad, which should be read alongside existing FCO Travel Advice and guidance offered on the ‘Be on the Ball: World Cup 2018’ website.”