Eng­land ex­presses hack­ing con­cerns T

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

HE English Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is con­cerned about its play­ers and coaches be­ing hacked at the World Cup in Rus­sia and has writ­ten to FIFA ex­press­ing con­cerns about in­for­ma­tion al­ready be­ing ac­cessed in a cy­ber­at­tack.

Eng­land has told play­ers, coaches and tech­ni­cal staff to avoid us­ing pub­lic wi-fi net­works over con­cerns sen­si­tive per­sonal and team in­for­ma­tion could be il­le­gally ob­tained in Rus­sia, a per­son with knowl­edge of the FA’s World Cup plan­ning said. The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause team se­cu­rity is­sues are pri­vate.

Emails be­tween the FA and FIFA dis­cussing dop­ing cases were last month pub­lished by the Rus­sian­linked hack­ing group, Fancy Bears, as part of a wider dis­clo­sure of il­le­gally ob­tained in­for­ma­tion.

While the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency has been pre­vi­ously breached by Fancy Bears, it is unclear which net­work th­ese emails were hacked from. It prompted the FA to write to FIFA about its con­cerns about cy­ber se­cu­rity.

“FIFA has in­formed the FA in such con­text that FIFA re­mains com­mit­ted to pre­vent­ing se­cu­rity at­tacks in gen­eral and that with re­spect to the Fancy Bears at­tack in par­tic­u­lar it is presently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent to as­cer­tain whether FIFA’s in­fra­struc­ture was com­pro­mised,” FIFA said on Mon­day, con­firm­ing the let­ter from the English gov­ern­ing body. “Such in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still on­go­ing. For the pur­poses of com­puter se­cu­rity in gen­eral, FIFA is it­self re­ly­ing on ex­pert ad­vice from third par­ties.

“It is for this rea­son that FIFA can­not and does not pro­vide any com­puter se­cu­rity ad­vice to third par­ties.”

Asked about con­cerns about cy­ber­at­tacks at the FIFA tour­na­ment next year, 2018 World Cup or­gan­is­ers said they “would need to check with our IT De­part­ment.”

Even be­fore the Fancy Bears hack, Eng­land was en­hanc­ing its IT sys­tems to counter cy­ber­at­tacks in light of con­cerns about Rus­sian hack­ers, said the per­son with knowl­edge of the FA’s plan­ning. Fire­walls have also been strength­ened and stronger en­cryp­tion used on pass­words, the per­son said. – AP WHO would have guessed at the start of 2017 that Rafael Nadal and Roger Fed­erer would divvy up the year’s four Grand Slam ti­tles?

And who could pos­si­bly pre­tend to know what 2018 will bring for them?

By the time Nadal was bit­ing the han­dle of the US Open tro­phy on Sun­day night , his usual way of cel­e­brat­ing a tour­na­ment vic­tory, he had raised his ca­reer Grand Slam cham­pi­onship count to 16: three at Flush­ing Mead­ows, an unprecedented 10 at the French Open (in­clud­ing this June, shortly af­ter turn­ing 31), two at Wim­ble­don and one at the Aus­tralian Open.

That moved him back within three of Fed­erer, whose 19 is the record among men: an unprecedented eight at the All Eng­land Club (in­clud­ing in July, shortly be­fore turn­ing 36), five at the US Open, four at the Aus­tralian Open (in­clud­ing in Jan­uary) and one at Roland Gar­ros.

“Of course, (it’s) some­thing dif­fi­cult to imag­ine, eight months ago or nine months ago, that we will be win­ning two Grand Slams each,” Nadal said. “But here we are.”

In­deed, in Jan­uary, it sure ap­peared that the two greats of the game had left their best days be­hind.

As of Mon­day, they are ranked 1-2 .

Fed­erer be­gan this sea­son at No. 16, hav­ing missed the last half while let­ting his back and left knee heal.

Nadal was No. 9, hav­ing pulled out af­ter the se­cond round of the French Open and skipped Wim­ble­don en­tirely be­cause of an in­jured left wrist.

“When you get (an) in­jury,” Nadal said, “then (it) seems like the sea­son is a dis­as­ter.”

Fed­erer be­gan 2017 hav­ing gone 4½ years with­out a Grand Slam ti­tle.

Nadal’s drought with­out so much as one ap­pear­ance in a ma­jor semi­fi­nal had stretched to about 2½ years.

By the end of the Aus­tralian Open, though, they were squar­ing off to de­cide the ti­tle.

It was the pair’s ninth Grand Slam fi­nal against each other — it’s hap­pened at least twice at each ma­jor ex­cept the US Open, where they have never met — but first since the 2011 French Open.

At the time, Nadal said Sun­day, “I was sur­prised.”

But he wasn’t taken aback by what he and Fed­erer were able to do later in the year. It was clear — to Nadal, to every­one — that they were once again ca­pa­ble of be­ing the dom­i­nant fig­ures in their sport.

“To come back and win all four Grand Slams was quite an achieve­ment, re­gard­less of how good they are. There is a lot of very tough com­pe­ti­tion,” said Kevin Anderson, the first-time ma­jor fi­nal­ist who failed to put up too much of a fight in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 loss to the No. 1-ranked Nadal.

“When they’re healthy, I think they have so many skills they can rely on. In ad­di­tion to that is just the amount of ex­pe­ri­ence they have had,” Anderson said. “Play­ing at this level, I think they feel very com­fort­able, and ob­vi­ously they might get ner­vous, but just like any­thing, the more you do it, the more used to it you get.”

It didn’t hurt that the three men who are next in the peck­ing or­der all had down years and in­jury is­sues: No­vak Djokovic, Andy Mur­ray and Stan Wawrinka. All missed the US Open. All could re­turn to con­tention for big prizes next year.

Add in that trio’s ma­jor to­tals (Djokovic has 12, Mur­ray and Wawrinka three apiece), and since the start of the 2005 French Open, the top five men have won 49 of the past 51 Grand Slam cham­pi­onships.

Still, af­ter all this time, there are still two who stand alone at the top: Rafa and Roger.

“There is just two things that prob­a­bly we share — that is pas­sion for what we are do­ing, pas­sion for ten­nis , pas­sion for the com­pe­ti­tion,” Nadal said, “and the spirit of im­prove­ment all the time.”

The ques­tion was put to him Sun­day night: How im­por­tant is it for you to catch Fed­erer in the race for most Grand Slam ti­tles?

“I re­ally never thought much about that. I just do my way. He does his way,” Nadal re­sponded. “Let’s see when we fin­ish, no?” – AP

Photo: AP

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin holds the FIFA World Cup tro­phy dur­ing its pre­sen­ta­tion at Moscow’s Luzh­niki Sta­dium, Rus­sia, over the week­end.

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