Stay safe while you stream, your cyber downfall could be due to your team

By Jason McNicholas Cyber Security Technologist

As live sports return to our televisions and streaming services, one of the most publicised (and popular) sporting returns is English Football.

Due to the real possibility of a second wave of COVID-19, these games are being played behind closed doors in empty stadiums. This means that most fans who would usually go to a stadium to support their team, have to do it from home.

Fans have been busily creating accounts on streaming services such as Amazon Prime, BT Sport and Sky Sports.

According to NCSC, over 700,000 accounts have already been compromised and more are expected to be hacked at an alarming rate.

This is down to the simple fact that hackers are attempting popular team names (and/or player names) as passwords and it is working (280,723 of the user accounts compromised had the password “liverpool”).

Users are being reminded to come up with a strong password that is not easily identifiable or guessable, however this should not be solely the responsibility of the user; the streaming platform should also be making steps to prevent users creating passwords involving team names.

This password oversight is a ticking time bomb and is causing a huge security concern.

The NCSC recommends using three random words to create a strong password and to avoid using personal information that can be harvested on your social media accounts.

For more information on the see the NCSC article about the issue: