Cyber-attack on NBA Team

An investigation has been launched after cyber-criminals targeted one of the 30 teams in America's National Basketball Association. 

Cybersecurity experts hired by the Houston Rockets are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the precise nature and extent of the security incident.

Reuters reports that an unknown attacker tried to install ransomware on the basketball franchise's internal computer systems but was largely unsuccessful.

"The Rockets organization recently detected suspicious activity on certain systems in its internal network. We immediately launched an investigation," said team spokesperson Tracey Hughes.

Cyber-defenses put in place by the team before the attack were effective in limiting the destruction wrought by the malware. 

"Our internal security tools prevented ransomware from being installed except for a few systems that have not impacted our operations," said the basketball team.

The Rockets said that while the full scope of the attack was yet to be determined, no signs had been detected so far to suggest that threat actors had acquired any sensitive data belonging to the team.

"While this investigation is ongoing, the incident has had no impact to our operations or our ability to take care of our fans, employees, and players," said the team.

Bloomberg reported that the hacking group Babuk claimed to have exfiltrated 500 gigabytes of data belonging to the Houston Rockets. Babuk alleged that the information it had swiped from the team included financial data, non-disclosure agreements, and contracts.

The gang claimed on its dark web page that it would not return the data to the basketball franchise until a ransom was paid. In a message that was later moved, the gang said that failure to pay would result in the publication of the stolen information. 

The team said that if the investigation reveals that any personal data was stolen, then those affected will be notified. 

Significant Houston entities to suffer a data breach include the Memorial Hermann Health System and the Texas Children's Hospital. In 2020, a ransomware attack against the Texas court system left the network temporarily disabled.

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