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Fubo TV says outage during World Cup was cyberattack

A banner with the logo of streaming service Fubo TV hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange.
A banner with the logo of streaming service Fubo TV hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo courtesy Fubo TV via LinkedIn, Graphic by The Desk)

A prolonged outage that caused some Fubo TV subscribers to miss a World Cup soccer match and other television shows this week was caused by a criminal cyberattack, company executives revealed on Thursday.

In a short statement, officials at the streaming service said it has hired Mandiant, a well-known cybersecurity response firm, and is cooperating with law enforcement after the hours-long attack left some customers unable to watch television on Wednesday.

“Our primary focus currently is on ensuring that the incident is fully contained and that there is no threat of further disruption for any of our customers,” a Fubo TV spokesperson said in a statement.

The outage hit while streamers were trying to watch the semifinal World Cup soccer match between France and Morocco. Dozens of users complained on social media that their live channels were unavailable during the match, an issue that Fubo TV acknowledged and said it was working to fix.

The issue appeared to be resolved in time for some streaming customers to watch the last half of the match, though others said they were unable to log in to Fubo TV or stream content even after the match ended. On Thursday, a Fubo TV executive said service was mostly restored by the evening.

It was not clear how Fubo TV determined it was the victim of a cyberattack, or what the purported attackers were targeting at the service. Also unknown is whether the incident was carried out by an individual or a state sponsored hacking group.

“Our investigation is at an early stage, but we are committed to transparency regarding this incident,” a Fubo TV spokesperson said. “We will provide an update at an appropriate time when we have more information to share.”

Fubo TV did not say if the cyberattack resulted in any customer information being compromised. Several states have laws that require companies to notify customers if their data is stolen or otherwise breached during a cybersecurity incident.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).