England players briefed on cyber security ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Published on: 4 Jun 2018

Every player in England’s World Cup squad is to be briefed on cyber security before they head off to Russia for this summer’s tournament.

GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been tasked with advising players how to keep their devices secure during their time in Russia.

England manager Gareth Southgate has already given an insight into how much the squad members rely on their smartphones and video game consoles in between training and matches.

“In terms of how they occupy their time in the hotel, a lot of them are young kids, it will be ‘Fortnite’ or whatever it is,” Southgate said recently.

Given the number of electronic devices accompanying the team, the FA will thoroughly screen all players’ and staff devices to ensure they have the appropriate software installed and to try to make them secure from interference. Players will also be briefed on which devices they can safely use and where.

“We continue to receive security advice from all relevant authorities,” an FA spokesperson commented.

Additionally, the NCSC will tell the FA how it can make its own security systems as robust as possible in the event of Russian cyber attacks.

Fans travelling to Russia has also been advised to just take the devices they absolutely need and to avoid using public and hotel wifi connections where possible.