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FA steps up cyber security measures over hacking fears ahead of Russia World Cup

The FA believes there could be a high risk of a cyber-attack in Russia Credit: PA

The FA plans to tell its players and other staff at next year's World Cup in Russia not to use any public or hotel wifi connections, fearing embarrassing personal or detailed coaching and tactical secrets could be hacked.

Assuming Gareth Southgate’s team qualifies, the entire travelling party will be encouraged to log on to a secure network on a dedicated FA server which will have several extra layers of security built in.

Firewalls will be strengthened and passwords encrypted, given the perceived high risk of a cyber-attack in Russia.

In addition, players especially will be given advice on their use of social media during the tournament.

It is also expected that once the preferred training base and accommodation are confirmed, both will be swept for bugging devices before the England entourage moves in.

Cyber security measures will be stepped up assuming Gareth Southgate’s team qualifies Credit: PA

The Three Lions squad is used to living within a security bubble - last year French police even flew drones over their training camp in Chantilly at the European Championships - but this sophisticated IT operation is on a new level compared to previous tournaments.

Separately the FA has written to FIFA to express concern over the apparent recent hacking of football’s governing body’s correspondence on doping by the Russian hacking group Fancy Bears.

In response FIFA said it "remains committed to preventing security attacks in general and that with respect to the Fancy Bears attack in particular it is presently investigating the incident to ascertain whether FIFA's infrastructure was compromised".