Cyber Attack Hits Online Irish National Lottery

Published Saturday, January 23, 2016 -
Cyber Attack Hits Online Irish National Lottery

Online gambling companies have been the target of hackers since the invention of internet betting with firms and governments going to great lengths to create a secure environment for wagering. Security and gambling experts have been watching professional hackers do their best at sabotaging online casinos with regularity over the years.

The hack attacks are launched in a variety of ways. Some of these cyber criminals unleash crude "denial of service" barrages, which disable the targeted site with a flood of information requests. If timed right, such as just before a big sporting event when the wagering activity is at its highest, a denial-of-service attack could rob a betting enterprise of a considerable amount of money in lost bets.

Last July New Jersey State and Federal authorities investigated a cyber-attack on four Atlantic City online casino gambling sites, which were apparently targeted by a hacker who promised more disruption unless a ransom was paid in Bitcoin. New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck said, "At least four casinos were impacted and experienced downtime," Rebuck continued, "We're continuing to monitor."

Now a recent post reveals that Ireland’s National Lottery has become the latest gambling operator to be hit with a distributed denial of service attack with the hackers knocking the Lottery’s website offline for two hours on the day of the draw. The National Lottery is operated by Premier Lotteries Ireland which issued a statement about the attack. It said the company’s anti-DDoS systems worked, “limiting disruption and restoring all operations within two hours.” Premier Lotteries Ireland pointed out that “at no point was the National Lottery gaming system or player data affected.”

The latest Security State of the Internet report from Akamai showed that the United Kingdom was the country with the most DDoS attack traffic in Q3 of 2015. The UK was the source of 25.6% of all DDoS attacks in Q3, excelling over China’s 20.7%.

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