Learn How a Virtual Networking Approach Can Strengthen the Security of Federal Networks REGISTER >
Bates reports that "confidential professional and personal details of all City's potential transfer targets" may have been accessed by a rival football club.
Manchester City has apparently hired cyber forensics experts to analyze the breach.
With both Shakhtar Donetsk's Fernandinho and Seville's Jesus Navas recently signed for £30 million and £24 million, respectively, Bates suggests the transfers may have been rushed after the club discovered the breach.
A Premier League chief scout told the newspaper, "When it comes to compiling reports on players there is a whole different level of information that goes into a dossier on a player and many clubs around Europe use the same system. ... Having someone else -- especially a rival -- access that information and see which players you are looking at, which players you may buy and which ones are being monitored over a defined period would be seen as catastrophic."
However, Scout7 told the Daily Mail in a statement, "Scout7 is aware of the erroneous publicity about supposed hacking of a client of the Scout7 system. We understand that the incident is still being investigated but involves use of valid passwords obtained from the Club concerned to gain illegal access to a private database. The security or technical integrity of Scout7 systems has not been undermined by this incident."