David Beckham fell victim to a £1million blackmail plot over hacked emails. Explosive messages from the ex-footie ace, ripped off his advisers’ computer system, went public after the firm refused to pay hacker, Mirror UK reports.
A source said: “He was caught in the crossfire.”
Hacked emails in which Beckham allegedly rants about missing out on a knighthood went public after his advisers refused to give in to blackmail.
Cyber criminals, believed to be using Russian servers, accessed millions of messages and documents from the computer system of the sports agency run by Becks’ PR chief Simon Oliveira.
They demanded up to a million euros – close to £1million – not to expose the sensitive material.
Messages included some from ex-England captain David, 41.
In one, he allegedly branded the honours committee “unappreciative c***s” after missing out on becoming a Sir in 2013.
Hackers initially approached Portugal-based Doyen Sports, part of Oliveira’s firm Doyen Global. Beckham’s business team resisted the blackmail and called in police early last year, the Mirror can reveal.
A source said: “They approached by email and attempted to meet via another third party. They said we have all this information and you have to pay up. It was blackmail, pure and simple
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“The investigation has been going on behind the scenes for some time and involved several prominent companies.
“The hack wasn’t targeted at David at all – it was very much a fishing expedition but David has been caught in the crossfire.”
The blackmailer, writing under the name Artem Lovuzov, told Doyen Sports CEO Nelio Lucas: “The leak is a lot bigger than you imagine…a generous donation, and you can be sure that all the information I possess will be destroyed.”
When asked to define “generous”, the writer said: “I think something between €500,000 and a million would be a good donation for this material, but I want to see your suggestion.”
When there was no reply, the blackmailer wrote: “Two days have passed already and my lawyer tells me that he has not been contacted by you or your lawyer. As I told you, I am a man of my word, and as well as stopping all publications I decided to delete all the documents from the site to prevent any kind of speculation.
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“I’m giving you until 16.00 on Tuesday to contact my lawyer with a view to a proper resolution to this impasse.”
Portugese police were handed a dossier of evidence and have been investigating for 12 months, contrary to reports police were only called in at the weekend. The perpetrators have targeted a number of business connected to the football world.
After the hackers’ attempt to extort money failed, the bombshell information was passed to the Football Leaks website. Football Leaks have denied blackmailing Doyen Sports.
Source: Mirror UK