Three men, including listed referee Dean Mohareb, have been arrested on suspicion of hacking into the Football Association's (FA) networks.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed arresting Mohareb, Liam Cliff and Vincent Rossi. Mohareb is accused of perverting the course of justice and unauthorised access to computer data. Cliff and Rossi have both been charged with perverting the course of justice.
Police confirmed that the hackers attempted a cyber attack to access private information stored on the FA network.
"Greater Manchester Police investigated allegations of computer hacking and the dissemination of private information at the FA," read the statement. "Three men have been charged following allegations of computer hacking at the FA."
The exact nature of the information targeted is unknown and it is unclear whether the attack was successful. At the time of publishing the FA had not responded to V3's request for clarification.
Cyber attacks are a growing problem facing numerous businesses and associations. The influx of new attacks led the UK government to put out a public warning asking businesses to be wary of cyber scams in the run up to Christmas.
Combating the scams has been a central goal of the UK government. The government pledged to invest £650m to help improve the nation's cyber defences in 2012 as part of its wider Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy has seen the launch of several anti-cybercrime initiatives, including the creation of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) and National Crime Agency earlier this year.
Many security experts have said that businesses are still failing to adequately protect their data despite the investment. Experts from Symantec and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) argued CISP is failing to support SMBs at the RSA conference in October.
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