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GOLDENBALLSUP! Beckham website defaced

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David Beckham's website was hacked and defaced on Sunday in an attack timed to coincide with the birth of his first daughter.

Instead of the usual content about football and his celebrity friends, visitors to Golden Balls' website who showed up on Sunday were confronted with a picture of a dog attempting to eat a poster displaying an advert for dog food, alongside a message saying "ScooterDAshooter = FAIL". The defacement of a celebrity's website is sometimes used as a tool to to distribute malware, but that was not the case here, where the hacker apparently carried out the attack just for the pure devilment of the prank.

Beckham undoubtedly outsources the management of his site. In any case he was otherwise occupied over the weekend with the birth of his first daughter, Harper Seven.

The attack follows other recent assaults on celebrity websites including those of Amy Winehouse and Ronaldinho, who was unkindly compared to Jar Jar Binks. An attack on Diego Maradona's website by a Peruvian football fans labelled the football legend a "cry-baby".

Such attacks are normally pulled off using easy-to-exploit website vulnerabilities, but can have serious implications for site owners, warn security experts.

"This attack is part of a worrying trend in web attacks, as it is only a matter of time before criminals choose to use celebrity websites to distribute malware to unsuspecting visitors," said John Stock, senior security consultant at vulnerability management specialist Outpost24. "If this hacker had chosen to place malware on Beckham's site, the implications could have been highly embarrassing, especially with the recent news of the birth of Harper Seven likely to lead to a spike in visitor numbers.

"While David Beckham is clearly not responsible for the day-to-day security of his website, whoever he outsources the job to should be facing some penalties for this own goal," he added. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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