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Football fans injured in ‘apocalyptic’ Rome escalator collapse

in Rome

Tue 23 Oct 2018 18.28 EDT First published on Tue 23 Oct 2018 15.35 EDT

Authorities in Rome have launched two investigations after 24 fans of the CSKA Moscow football team were injured when a crowded escalator suddenly sped up then collapsed, hurling people down the staircase.

One of the fans, who was in the Italian capital for his team’s Champions League game against AS Roma, had his foot amputated in the incident at Repubblica station on Tuesday evening in what one witness described as “a scene from an apocalypse”.

Firefighters worked for around an hour to remove fans trapped between the metal plates of the escalator’s steps. Many of the injured were treated at the scene.

Emergency services outside the Repubblica – Teatro dell’Opera station on Tuesday evening

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Emergency services outside the Repubblica – Teatro dell’Opera station on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

RAI, the state television broadcaster, aired a video of the incident, showing the escalator suddenly accelerating, with people piling up at the bottom. The top part of the escalator remained mostly intact, while several steps at the bottom completely collapsed.

“I just witnessed a scene from an apocalypse,” said the witness. “An escalator, one metre from me, began to accelerate as if it was going crazy … what is happening in this city?”

The station was full of Russian fans at the time as they headed towards Rome’s Olympic Stadium for the football match.

Italian media reported that the escalator broke after singing and chanting fans started to jump up and down on it. Beer bottles were found at the bottom.

“There has certainly been a failure of the escalator,” Rome’s chief firefighter, Giampietro Boscaino, said. “But we cannot say how it happened. It’s a strange incident.”

The investigations have been opened by Rome’s public prosecutor and Atac, the company responsible for the city’s public transport system. The metro station has been closed.

“Now we need to understand what happened,” Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, said at the scene. “We are available for the injured and their families.”

Fan sues Dolphins over stadium accident that partially severs a toe

Posted by Mike Florio on October 13, 2018, 10:16 PM EDT
Getty Images

When attending a football game, certain inconveniences can be anticipated. The loss of an appendage isn’t one of them.

But that’s what happened in Week Three, when attending the Dolphins’ win over the Raiders. Via Alex Harris of the Miami Herald, 34-year-old Jean Michaud lost a portion of a toe after the marble slab at bar inside Hard Rock Stadium unexpectedly fell.

Michaud has sued the Dolphins for negligence, and it should be an open-and-shut case. Regardless of why or how the marble slab fell, marble slabs aren’t supposed to fall like that. When things that don’t ordinarily happen in the absence of negligence occur, the law often presumes that negligence of some type was involved.

Michaud also claims that Dolphins employees delayed providing Michaud medical care for 30 minutes, until a signed statement could be obtained. Michaud contends a full hour passed before he was in an ambulance.

Michaud told the Herald that he has received a fruit basket and a get well card from the Dolphins. Eventually, he’ll could get a lot more than that. Absent evidence that he caused the marble slab to fall on his foot, he should.

6 shot on street near north Florida stadium before NFL game

Associated PressOctober 22, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Six people have been wounded in a street shooting blocks from the Florida stadium where the NFL’s Houston Texans played and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Ron Lendvay, director of investigations for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, said several shots rang out about 12:35 p.m. Sunday on a boulevard in the stadium’s general area and that five men and one woman were hit by gunfire. All were rushed to hospitals, and the sheriff’s office tweeted that three of the victims were in critical condition. The victims ranged in age from their 20s to the 70s, according to Lendvay.

The shooting broke out before the scheduled 1 p.m. start of play. Lendvay reported no link to the game, which went on without incident, and said investigators were investigating whether it was gang-related.

The Texans won their fourth consecutive game Sunday, defeating the Jaguars 20-7 to take a one-game lead in the AFC South at the stadium, TIAA Bank Field.

Local media reports cited authorities as saying the shooting had had no impact on game day activities though some fans headed to the game reported hearing the gunfire.

Lendvay told reporters that a shooter fired from the passenger side of a gray, four-door sedan driven by a companion and that the victims were hit outside on the sidewalk near a laundromat. He said the car immediately drove off and that detectives had been checking surveillance video in hopes of identifying the vehicle and those involved.

“There were at least two people in the car,” Lendvay said. He added that investigators didn’t know if any others were in the car and he didn’t rule out the possibility of other shooters elsewhere.

“This may be gang-related based on information obtained in the early stages of the investigation,” he told reporters Sunday, declining to elaborate.

Some fans told local broadcast outlet New4Jax that they heard shots as they headed to the stadium.

“We had just parked our cars,” Vanessa Holmes told the new outlet, adding she and some family members were walking when it happened. “We heard the shots. We didn’t know if we should fall to the ground. We didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Others told the broadcast outlet that they saw people running out of the coin laundry business when the shots were fired.

Some said it was a series of shots.

“We were over there talking and suddenly, it was like ten gunshots. We ran and went for cover and then I saw the police, and people were crowding down there,” a woman identified as Yvonne Lee told News4Jax.

An update on the conditions of the wounded wasn’t immediately available late Sunday and they were not identified by name.

“A couple of them were in very serious condition on their arrival at the hospital,” Lendvay said. He added that five of the wounded were rushed by paramedics for emergency care and the sixth by private vehicle.

He said authorities have been unable to immediately determine whether there was any relationship among the wounded, noting none could be immediately interviewed though authorities hoped to do so later.

“It’s hard to say if they are all associated or not,” he added.

Lendvay spoke near the scene Sunday afternoon even as the game was in progress, saying investigators had cordoned off the area but fans who had cars parked in the area could expect an escort to their vehicles so they could leave unhindered after play was over.

Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney, who represents the district where the shooting occurred, told local media he was aware of crime problems in the neighborhood and urged a greater law enforcement presence there.

“In talking to the sheriff’s department; they are going to beef up patrols …We have a crime issue,” Gaffney said. “Every other week and every other month out there, it’s too much.”–spt.html

Event Safety and Security Risk Update: Stampedes, or Crowd Surge/Rush

Event Safety and Security Risk Update: Stampedes, or Crowd Surge/Rush – By Peter Ashwin and Giovanni Pisapia

October 11, 2018

Panic and confusion erupted in Central Park on Saturday night (the 29th September 2018), after a loud noise frightened concertgoers at the Global Citizen Festival, with some people erroneously attributing the sound to gunshots. Witnesses described a near-stampede in some places, as people sprinted for cover, jumped fences and trampled one another. Some were in tears and called their loved ones, and others said they had lost items or gotten separated from their friends, according to social medial. But the police quickly refuted reports of a shooting, saying at first that the noise was from a fallen barrier, not gunshots” (Sarah Mervosh, 2018).

Such incident echoes a similar incident which occurred on the 3rd June 2017 in Turin’s central Piazza San Carlo, during a screening of the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid. As a result, one woman died and at least 1,526 people were injured. It is believed that suspects caused the panic in San Carlo square by shooting pepper spray into the crowd while trying to commit a robbery (The Local, 2018). Media reports stated that “…someone shouting that a bomb had gone off may have fueled the panic” (BBC News, 2017).

In recent years, there has been continued interest by offenders in targeting crowded places events both in the USA and in Europe. This interest has been linked also, but not only, to the propaganda initiated by the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) from 2014 to attack such gatherings of people (Stephen Loiaconi, 2016). In addition, recent mass-shooting incidents during festivals and events have attracted much attention, such as the 1st October 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival (Las Vegas) incident, the deadliest committed by an individual in the United States (Doug Criss, 2017), and the 12th June 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting (Ralph Ellis et Al., 2016).

The motivations that make events, known as “soft targets” (Emilio Palmieri, 2016), desirable targets by self-radicalized, home grown violent extremists and issue-motivated or fixated individuals (lone actors) consists in the fact that these targets present opportunities for mass-casualties, serious injuries and instantaneous, global media coverage.

The fact that some events have been targeted successfully with method operandi (MO) aimed at maximizing casualties and panic, such as the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), firearms and vehicle ramming has indirectly resulted in a heightened awareness and general apprehension by event-goers in general for their personal safety at places of mass gathering, particularly outdoor events. In the US, this heightened awareness is also influenced by the “run, hide, fight” training initiated through the US Department of Homeland Security (US DHS).

In today’s uncertain world, the general public-perceived risk of terrorist events is likely to have heightened the perception of danger from events ‘attendees. The acknowledge, by the public, that such MOs require relatively little operational planning from the part of the offenders and the impossibility of having a risk-free event, void of all possible safety and security hazards associated with the gathering of a high number of people in a confined space, could increase this fear of violent attacks.

In such context, how to deal effectively with the risk of possible stampedes at public events?

A recent study on crowd control and public safety, authored by Peter Ashwin of Event Risk Management Solutions (ERMS) and Kat Steinberg (Movement Strategies, London) for the Beale Street Taskforce (City of Memphis), provides several insights into risk mitigation strategies to reduce the likelihood and consequences of stampedes at events.

Following a number of stampedes on the city’s main downtown entertainment district, named Beale Street, in the past years (19 recorded incidents between 2013-2017), ERMS was commissioned to “…conduct a crowd control study for Beale Street to focus on objective ‘measurable’ benchmarks for managing public safety generally as well as to investigate the relationship between anti-social behavior and crowd safety within the Beale Street Historic District. [This study] …offers new suggested measures to control crowds, prevent stampedes and improve safety and security…” (Peter Ashwin, 2018).

Beale Street faced similar public safety challenges to other like-entertainment districts as identified by Blair’s study on policing tactics across 40 entertainment districts across the US. These challenges included overcrowding, over-servicing of alcohol, transients and panhandlers, traffic congestion and cruising, and police resourcing challenges (Blair, 2000).

The analysis includes a comprehensive risk assessment of the district, including the specific risk of stampedes, known technically as “crown surge/rush”, defined as the anxiety induced movement triggered by an event in the crowd including deliberate anti-social behavior. The report lists that the main apparent cause of such stampedes appeared to be incidents within the crowd, both by accidents and intentional actions, which triggered a flight reaction. The root cause of such reaction by the attendees is thought to be a general fear and anxiety of becoming possible a victim of violent crime (such as mass shooting) through being an innocent bystander. These stampedes are “…typically short in duration, driven by anxiety and uncertainty, and instinctive behavioral response to preserve one’s own safety (flight) to run when others are running” (Peter Ashwin, 2018).

Similarly to what happened in Central Park, where a noise resembling a gunshot triggered a stampede, Memphis’ Beale Street recorded one of the largest recorded stampedes on the 29th May 2016, after a bike barrier fell over the vicinity of Club 152. The noise of the crash was mistaken for a gunshot and triggered a large scale, uncontrolled crowd surge with visitors running in all directions (Ibid). The similarities of the three mentioned incidents are startling: Bystanders, amid the fear of a possible violent attack during an event, would run away in expectation of a threatening situation having the potential to escalate and affecting their own safety.

The Report states that the stampede’s risk is basically composed of two separate components, part of a single continuum stemming from a flight from a perceived “trouble” to a major public safety incident:

Against stampedes during events, it is acknowledged that there is “no one solution” (Ibid). Instead, a risk assessment process should be implemented to define the most relevant recommendations to reduce the possibilities and the consequences of such occurrences. In this regard, the ERMS Report provides insights into recommended best practices on risk control measures to reduce the likelihood of the risk and in the event of a crowd rush incident, to reduce the severity of the potential consequences. From a prevention point of view, the perception of event-goers about their safety may play an important aspect in reducing the reactive individual behavior observed during stampedes.

Environmental criminology research indicates that crowded environments create opportunities for illegal behaviors which are more rewarding and create the opportunity for crime that would not occur without crowds (Tamara D. Madanes et Al., 2011).  Part of the risk mitigation strategy should therefore focus on the deterrence of anti-social behavior by potential offenders through increasing their level of perceived risk (policing tactics).

From a mitigation point of view, to lower the consequences of a crowd surge/rush, venue design measures could be implemented, such as the removal of obstacle and bottle-necks in crowd’s movements, which could give rise to slips, trips and falls and, in the worst case, trampling or crowd collapses in an event space. Also, event staff and law enforcement personnel should be highly visible to ensure they can be easily seen when giving instructions in crowed areas. Signage should be well visible, indicating emergency exits and general wayfinding within the event location. Enhanced security and crowd management training should ensure staff is aware of directing spectators safely during an evacuation (Peter Ashwin, 2018).

In the foreseeable future, the attractiveness of crowded spaces (events and festivals) where large numbers of people gather on a predictable basis will continue to be attractive and viable targets for acts of violence, whether by ISIS inspired attacks by self-radicalized individuals or directed terrorist attacks supported by a terrorist organization or by issue-motivated or fixated individuals (lone actors), remains relevant, considering the possible high number of casualties and the intense media coverage of such acts.

In this context, the challenges law enforcement agencies, private security companies and event organizes face are complex, from preventing such incidents from occurring to dealing effectively with them once triggered, limiting the possible consequences. Certainly, investing in pre-operational planning is needed to prevent first and then mitigate such occurrences (Francesco Semprini, 2018).

To conclude, if the perception of visitors with regards to their safety is paramount for the possible likelihood for a stampede to occur, this can only be tackled through a holistic safety and security plan aimed at providing a safe environment perceived as such by the events’ attendees. Moving forward, further research on event-goers, through qualitative research methods such as surveys, could shed some lights on the correlation between the feeling and perception of safety and security and possible reactive behavior at events such as stampedes.


Peter Ashwin, Beale Street Crowd Control Study Final Report, Event Risk Management Solutions (ERMS), 8th August 2018.

Elisabeth Aubrey (2018), “Barrier collapse at Global Citizen Festival leads to mass panic and injuries amid stampede”, Sep. 30, 2018. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

BBC News (2017), “Turin stampede: ‘1,500 injured’ at Juventus screening“, 4 June 2017. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

Brian J. Berkley and John R Thayer (2000), “Policing Entertainment Districts”. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol 23 Issue.

CBS News (2018), “Chaos, stampede at Central Park concert after false alarm of gunshots”, September 29, 2018. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

Doug Criss (2017), “The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history”, 2nd October 2017, CNN. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

Ralph Ellis et Al. (2016), “Orlando shooting: 49 killed, shooter pledged ISIS allegiance”, 13th June 2016, CNN. Link: Accessed on the 5th Oct 2018.

The Local (2018), “Eight arrested for sparking deadly Turin football stampede”, 13 April 2018. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

Stephen Loiaconi (2016), “After Christmas market attack, experts urge alertness, not fear”, 20th December 2016, WJLA. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

Sarah Mervosh (2018), “Panic in Central Park Caused by ‘Popping’ Drink Bottle, Not Fallen Barrier or Gunshots”, Sept. 29, 2018. The New York Times. Link: Accessed on the 5th Oct 2018.

Tamara D. Madensen and John E. Eck (2011), “Crowd-Related Crime: An Environmental Criminological Perspective.” In Tamara D. Madensen and Johannes Knutsson eds., Preventing Crowd Violence. Crime Prevention Studies, vol. 29. Pp. 115-138. Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Emilio Palmieri (2016), “Attacking public spaces: an emerging operational targeting pattern against the “softest” amongst the “soft-targets”?”, 8th January 2016, ITSTIME. Link: Accessed on the 6th Oct 2018.

Francesco Semprini, Folla impazzita a Central Park: così la polizia evita il disastro, 1st October 2018, La Stampa. Link: Accessed on the 7th Oct 2018.

US DHS, “Active Shooter – Pocket Card Information”. Link: Accessed on the 10th Oct 2018.

Peter Ashwin:

Giovanni Pisapia:

Baker Launches Security Task Force Focused On Sports Arenas And Other Large Venues

October 04, 2018

Gov. Charlie Baker was on the Gillette Stadium field hours before the Patriots were set to play the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday. He wasn’t there to chat up Tom Brady but rather to sign an executive order aimed at improving security for the 68,000 fans who pack Gillette to watch Brady and the Patriots play.

The governor’s order created the Massachusetts Large Venue Security Task Force, comprising law enforcement officials and managers of sports arenas and other big facilities. Baker said the group will meet at least four times per year to share information and best practices.

“Our view was by creating a task force — a central opportunity for people to gather on a quarterly or a monthly basis — that just seems like a way to turbocharge the activity here and give people across the venue spectrum a lot more opportunity to engage with one another around what people are doing that seems to be working to keep people safe,” Baker said.

TD Garden President Amy Latimer said she already talks about security with her counterparts at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.

“But I don’t know that we sit in a room and strategize,” she said. “We have one-off conversations: ‘Oh, have you guys looked at this technology? Oh, have you thought about this?’ We’re going to take it up to a higher level, be strategic with everybody. That doesn’t happen as often as it should, and I think this, now, will be the vehicle.”

The task force held its first meeting right after the governor swore in members on the Patriots’ home field.

They Thought It Was a Shooting. The Real Danger Was Mass Panic.

By Ashley Southall and Ali Winston

  • Cardi B had just stepped offstage after performing for thousands in Central Park when a loud pop pierced the air, sounding like a gunshot and igniting fears of a shooting. Backstage, police commanders scrambled to find out what was going on, and quickly determined no shots had been fired. They rushed to the stage to tell the crowd.
  • “Remain calm,” Assistant Chief Kathleen O’Reilly pleaded into a microphone, saying the sound had been a fence falling over.

    But it was too late. Frantic concertgoers ducked and rushed for a limited number of exits. Some people screamed “Shooter!” Barriers and tall fences were toppled. People fell and were trampled. Many fled shoeless. Some police officers even contributed to the pandemonium, telling people to duck and run.

    Though no one was seriously injured, the chaos at the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday jolted law enforcement authorities, security experts and policymakers. It has forced an examination of whether the police need new ways of curbing the risk of crowd panic in an era when mass killings have heightened public fear of attacks.

    By the next day, police commanders had determined that it had not been a falling barrier that had started the original stampede. It was, instead, a fight between two people near the stage. As concertgoers scattered, they stepped on empty water bottles, causing loud popping sounds.

    Once the false reports of a shooting spread, controlling the crowd “was like putting toothpaste back in the tube,” Chief James R. Waters, the police counterterrorism commander, who had been on the stage, said in an interview this week.

    The events in Central Park unfolded nearly a year to the day after a gunman killed 58 people at an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas, the worst shooting in modern American history, and one in a series of mass killings at churches, concerts, newsrooms, nightclubs and schools.


    Dozens of concertgoers suffered minor injuries in the onrush of people after popping sounds triggered a scare.CreditEvan Agostini/Invision, via Associated Press

    “People subjectively feel like they are in greater danger than ever before,” said Steven Adelman, the vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, a nonprofit trade association.

    Police officials have defended their handling of the panic in Central Park, saying the 100 officers at the concert were able to restore order within a few minutes, in part because the department has studied shooting attacks and conducted drills.

    But behind the scenes, officials are grappling with what went wrong and are adopting changes that would make events like the annual music festival safer for participants during an emergency.

    Those changes include marking the entrances and exits with color-coded lights, installing runway lighting to highlight emergency routes, displaying urgent messages on screens and placing specialized teams of officers in positions high enough for them to oversee the crowd, Chief O’Reilly said on Tuesday.

    “Situational awareness will be what we are messaging out next year,” Chief O’Reilly said. “People have to understand where they are.”

    The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said on Wednesday that the police could have moved faster to get a message out to calm the crowd — not just from the stage, but on social media as well. “I think our first hit on social media was about 12 minutes into it,” he said. “We can do better there.”

    Mr. O’Neill said the department would “go back and take a look at what happened and see how we can prevent it in the future.”

    Chiefs’ new tailgate policy will force fans into stadium after kickoff or send them home

    Non-ticket holders won’t be able to stay in the parking lot after the game starts by

    Aug 28, 2018

    The Kansas City Chiefsnew gameday policy might put a damper on a few barbecues. Beginning this season, there will be security sweeps in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot after kickoff, and fans straggling to get inside will be ask to go in or go home. According to Fox 4 KC, it’s an NFL suggestion that the Chiefs are implementing.

    “They’re really looking at it from a safety and security standpoint,” said Chiefs president Mark Donovan, per Fox 4 KC. “We looked at that and said, we don’t necessarily agree in KC, that’s what we should do. We know our fans pretty well. We know the importance of tailgating. However, there are some real strong points in the safety and security standpoint.”

    According to Fox 4 KC, this comes in the wake of the death of Kyle Van Winkle, who was sick before kickoff and tried to sleep it off. Unfortunately, Van Winkle entered the wrong car, and the owner of the car found him sleeping in it. The ensuing fight killed Van Winkle, and the Chiefs settled with his wife out of court.

    Tailgating, of course, is a time-honored NFL tradition. In no other setting is it socially acceptable to jump onto a burning table. The Chiefs’ reluctance to affect tailgaters is understandable, but so is their desire to implement the rule given the lawsuit a year ago.

    Lawsuit Follows Mass Shooting at Florida E-Sports Event

    By Christopher Coble, Esq. on August 28, 2018 12:20 PM

    David Katz, a white, 24-year-old allegedly angry after a loss during a “Madden NFL 19″ competition in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday, left the GLHF Game Bar, retrieved two guns from his car, and shot 13 people at the event, killing two and eventually killing himself. Katz was visiting from Baltimore for the e-sports event, and, according to the Associated Press, had previously been hospitalized for mental illness.

    USA Today is also reporting that survivors of the shooting have filed a “negligent security” lawsuit, although the law firm that announced the suit has declined to name its clients or the proposed targets of the litigation.

    People Over Profits

    “Unfortunately, the country has watched this unfold too often in the past,” attorney Matt Morgan said. “This is not the time in America for bare-bones security or, even worse, no security at all.” Morgan said his firm represents at least one person who was shot during the assault. “The safety of Americans must always come before profits. It must always be people over profits,” Morgan said.

    The event was organized by video game giant and Madden creator EA Sports. The competition itself took place at GLHF Game Bar, part of a Chicago Pizza restaurant located in the Jacksonville Landing entertainment complex, an outdoor, waterfront mall owned by the city. “It is foreseeable that shootings could occur at this location,” Morgan asserted, without confirming which entities could be defendants in a lawsuit. “eSports are big business. This is the type of event that has to have the highest level of security.”

    Gun Laws and Liability

    According John Wester of Tampa’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms field office, Katz purchased both handguns legally within the last month from a licensed dealer in Baltimore, where Katz lived. Court records show Katz was twice admitted to psychiatric facilities as a juvenile and that he was prescribed anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications. But Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told USA Today that Katz’s hospitalizations as an adolescent apparently did not fall under state or federal firearm disclosure requirements and background checks.

    Negligent security lawsuits are based on the legal duty of landowners and property possessors to provide reasonable security measures to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes. An individual injured by a third party — in this case people shot by Katz — can try to hold the owner or tenant of the property where the criminal injury occurred liable for their injuries. Morgan said his firm has continued to get calls from survivors of Sunday’s shooting, but declined to name specific clients.

    Liverpool reports ticketing cyberattack to data protection regulator

    Liverpool reports ticketing cyberattack to data protection regulator

    Liverpool fans have been warned of another potential data breach via the club’s ticketing services.

    Ahead of the start of the Premier League season later today, the club is writing to a group of supporters who used online and telephone ticketing services in 2012 following unauthorised external access to an employee account. Liverpool has advised the fans to change their passwords.

    The club has also reported the incident to the police and Information Commissioner’s Office, which regulates data protection in the UK, and launched an internal investigation.

    The club last month admitted that some season ticket holder information has been stolen from a club email account. While Liverpool said there is no evidence that any supporter accounts have been accessed, it reset online passwords and has issued guidance to those affected.

    Speaking about the new breach data, chief executive Peter Moore said: “We take privacy and the security of the personal information we hold extremely seriously. Unfortunately, we have determined that recently there has been unauthorised access to an LFC staff account.

    “Upon discovering the incident, we immediately took steps to ensure that no further unauthorised access would be possible.

    “We have no evidence to suggest any fraudulent use of personal information and continue to work closely with experts in this field and monitor for any suspicious activity.”

    Hackers Reportedly Breach PGA Servers, Demand Bitcoin Ransom

    By Joe Lemire / August 9, 2018

    Just two days before the PGA Championship, hackers breached the computer servers of the PGA of America, locked officials out of important files for the tournament, and demanded ransom to reinstate access. Golfweek reported the attack and noted that the hackers’ message included a Bitcoin wallet number, although did not specify the ransom amount.

    A PGA spokesperson declined comment, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. One source told Golfweek that the golf organization had no intention to meet the demands.

    The magazine noted that the affected files included creative materials—banners, logos, and signage—for both the PGA Championship at St. Louis’ Bellerive Country Club and the Ryder Cup that begins on Sept. 28 in the Parisian suburbs. The hackers’ message read, in part: “Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm [sic].”

    SportTechie Takeaway

    The impact of Russian hackers on the 2016 national elections broadly increased awareness of the need for cybersecurity. Sports had a hacking crisis that same year when confidential information in the World Anti-Doping Agency database was stolen and released. Last month, Fenway Park hosted a panel on the need for venue safety and security that covered the need to protect computer systems. Groups dedicated to sports cybersecurity have also begun emerging, including the Sports ISAO (Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations). In 2015, President Barack Obama issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to foster the creation and efforts of ISAOs.

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