You remember how I mentioned that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick always seems to find his way back into the news cycle at least once or so a week? Well, he’s back, and this time he didn’t even need to do anything.
In an apparent data breach of the NFL Players Association website, personal information—including home addresses, mobile numbers, email addresses, colleges, dates of birth, and agent fees—of as many as 1,135 NFL players hit the open web. A ransom note from the hackers demanding 0.1 bitcoin was also found on the page, and it doesn’t appear that the NFLPA transferred any money to the requested wallet as of today.
The breach affected, you guessed it, Colin Kaepernick, the man at the center of the raging debate over protesting during the national anthem. And any time a divisive issue like that can be more or less traced back to one person, it’s usually not safe for that person’s information to be floating around the World Wide Web.
Kaepernick reported receiving death threats from the very beginning of this fiasco, so it probably isn’t safe for that information to be leaked right at the apex.
The NFLPA jumped on top of the situation, reporting it to players and their agents and taking steps to rectify it.
“We have worked with cybersecurity experts at Microsoft and our database consultant to determine the extent of the improper access,” the NFLPA wrote in an email to affected players and their respective agents. “We are confident that it was limited to a two-hour period last week. We want to emphasize that no information about you or your player’s Social Security Number or finances was in the data. Also, we are directly informing all players involved. In addition to our work with Microsoft, we are engaging an independent firm to do a full review of all of our cybersecurity measures.”
Working to fix it, of course, doesn’t mean that the Players Association might not be in hot water, especially because it breached the privacy of some lawyers. Never a good idea.
“As an agent who is also a licensed attorney and as such is entrusted with protected information on a daily basis, I am always concerned about my clients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality,” notes certified agent and founder of Premier Athlete Advisors LLC Adam Seifer. “So a breach of this nature is clearly concerning to me.”
Just what the NFLPA needs right now, more big situations to deal with.