Cybersecurity experts have reportedly identified “associates with links to NRL people” as the source of vile rumours about Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.
Seibold’s legal team are said to be closing in on the culprits after a number of scandalous rumours about the coach started circulating online recently.
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According to The Courier Mail, the rumours are part of an orchestrated smear campaign to have Seibold sacked.
On Tuesday night, cybersecurity experts reportedly pinpointed the source of the rumours to several people with links to NRL coaches and former players.
“Investigators tracking vile rumours about Anthony Seibold are looking at current and ex players,” Chris Garry of Channel 7 reported on Tuesday.
“A key figure is well known to NRL fans. NSW police have also looked into the matter. The source is a group of people based in Aus and overseas.”
Investigators tracking vile rumours about Anthony Seibold are looking at current and ex players. A key figure is well known to NRL fans. NSW police have also looked into the matter. The source is a group of people based in Aus and overseas.— Chris Garry (@ChrisGarry7) August 18, 2020
Story tonight with @PeterFegan7 pic.twitter.com/ab0sRGR6VQ
Peter Badel of The Courier Mail revealed similar details on NRL 360.
“The cybersecurity experts have found a group of people they believe are guilty of these social media slurs against Anthony Seibold,” he said.
“They are associates with links to NRL people. Those people are coaches, former coaches, and former NRL players.
“We’re not saying it’s the actual current coaches behind this, but associates – i.e. family, friends, partners.
“I spoke to Anthony Seibold’s lawyer today and they’re 90 per cent sure they’ll get the men they’re after.
“They expect a final, definitive call in the next 24 to 48 hours. I think there’ll be some very nervous people in the NRL at the moment.”
‘Prominent name’ under investigation over Seibold
Earlier this week Seibold’s lawyer revealed a “prominent name” is in the spotlight.
“It’s quite unexpected. It’s not just random trolls,” Dave Garratt told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“There is a lot of activity online at the moment so the guys are watching that.
“They’re watching people and by this afternoon or early tomorrow we will have a road map as to where we go from here.”
Garratt later told The Australian the “person of prominence” had “blacked out” their social media accounts when news of the investigation became public.
“The minute it came out that there was cyber-people involved, someone shut down their account straight away - all their social media went pretty much black,” he said.
“They won’t tell me their name, but it went black. A prominent name.
“The report will say who generated the messages, who made the allegations and where they forwarded them on to.
“I can see some nervous people in the next 24 hours.”
Seibold was forced to break the NRL’s biosecurity bubble to deal with a “serious” family matter two weeks ago.
On Sunday he lashed out at the “disgusting” rumours about his family.
“I understand I’m in a high-profile position at a high profile club. But this is my family and other people mentioned in those disgusting and false messages,” Seibold told the Daily Telegraph.
“They don’t ask to be in the spotlight. Say whatever you want about my coaching and the team’s performances but to make up lies and all that abuse … it’s sickening and I’m not going to cop it.”