Casino and Poker Sites Targets By Extortionists

Published on: March 8, 2008 

Computer hackers are doing everything they can to get to personal information and the latest attacks have been hitting online gambling sites.  Casino and poker sites have now been targeted by online extortionists and system wide shutdowns are being caused by the cyber sabotage.  Gala Coral E-Commerce had to shut down their gambling websites thanks to a half hour cyber attack that overloaded their server systems, one of the latest sites to fall victim to this cyber crime.

According to Peter Bassill, Gala Coral’s head of internet security, the hackers have been working on the major cyber attack for at least four months.  Hackers have been setting up accounts on the company’s sites using credit card information that they had previously stolen.  When the attack occurred, the company discovered that 30,000 personal computers have been set up as bots, posing as legitimate users and causing the system wide shutdown.  The bots were able to block one of the port firewalls, sending information through to the websites in a cyber siege.  The firewall was still functioning and attempting to stop the attack but was not able to compensate for the information overload.

The hacking attempts are not just standard attacks. Gala Coral claims that they have received demands by the attacks for $100,000.00 or more, sabotaging the family of gambling sites when the demands are not met.  The company says that this happens about twice a year and is seeking professional help from law enforcement agencies in an attempt to stop this from happening again.  Gala’s representatives has pointed out that the cyber crime attacks are a matter of national security, going as far as saying that if these hackers can sabotage a gambling website, they could sabotage something more important, such as utility companies or nuclear power plants.   

The company has made a good point about the ability of the hackers and unfortunately this is not a movie scenario.  With the money demands preceding the attacks, the hackers are moving the protection business onto the Internet.  So far no other casino websites have come forth and announced that they have been victims of their cyber crimes, but that is not to say that it has happened.

Anyone who thinks they may be a victim of a cyber attack or identity fraud should contact their local law enforcement immediately and report it.  If the fraud was committed by using a credit card, make sure you have the card deactivated as soon as possible.  Make sure that you also notify the website that you believe the crime occurred on so that they are aware that there is something illegal possibly going on there behind the scenes and can monitor it.

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