There was a story a few days ago in the London Mail on Sunday reporting that the personal details of some 250,000 fans who bought tickets to the 2006 World Cup in Germany through official Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ticket outlets have been stolen and then sold off for some £500,000.
The information not only contains financial information on ticket holders, but their passport details.
A criminal investigation has been launched to try to determine who stole and sold the database of information, and another investigation is also being conducted to try to determine why FIFA did not delete the information as required by international agreements.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the information included details on 50,000 Swedish and Norwegian fans, 20,000 American citizens, 36,000 Swiss nationals, 42,000 Portuguese and 36,000 Dutch fans, as well as thousands more supporters from Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Croatia.
The scheme came to light when the details of the Swedish and Norwegian fans were recently offered for sale. Included were the personal details of former Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson and former Minister of Integration Jens Orback. This has led to fears that other dignitaries who traveled to the 2006 World Cup may have had their information compromised as well.
The Mail quotes FIFA as saying:
"We are currently investigating this case and have no further comments at this stage."
Hmm, not even an apology to World Cup ticket buyers that says that FIFA takes security seriously?
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.