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cyber-criminals fifa 2018

Cybercriminals are expected to target foreigners and star players arriving for the FIFA Worldcup – with rich players vulnerable to being fleeced online.

Football chiefs fear big name stars could fall victim to blackmailers if their personal “clouds” are compromised and they have sensitive photographs uploaded.

The Football Association is taking advice from GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre – AKA the NCSC.

A spokesman for the centre said: “The NCSC is providing expert cyber security advice to the Football Association ahead of their departure to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“A recent NCSC blog highlighted advice for fans using devices while abroad which should be read alongside existing Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice and guidance offered on the `Be On The Ball: World Cup 2018′ website.”

The site includes advising to supporters on how to stay safe during the tournament.

Technology will play a major part in the England players’ lives in their camp in Repino.

Each one will take multiple devices – smartphones, tablets and gaming platforms – to the training base near St Petersburg.

Boss Gareth Southgate said most of his squad will play video games during their time off.

“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,” he said

With so many electronic devices going with the team the FA will thoroughly screen all devices belonging to players and backroom to ensure they have the appropriate security software installed to protect them from interference.

The players will also be told which devices they can safely use and where.

An FA spokesman said: “We continue to receive security advice from all relevant authorities.”

Established last year the NCSC largely focuses on protecting the UK from Russian cyber attacks by advising individuals and big organisations over online security systems.