Online casino gaming sites for several Atlantic City casinos were recently victimized by a cyber hacker. Shortly before the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the criminal targeted four online casino sites that cater to poker players in New Jersey. Although authorities have not confirmed the casinos that were targeted, it is believed that the sites may have been owned by the Borgata casino.
The attack essentially blocked users from accessing the gaming sites for roughly 30 minutes. According to the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the hacker “flooded” the online networks with so much information that they were inoperable.
Atlantic City Casino Hacker’s Demands
Sometime after the cyber attack was perpetrated, the culprit reportedly communicated a ransom demand. According to law enforcement, the hacker demanded that casinos pay him an undisclosed amount via Bitcoin, a virtual currency that is exchanged online. The hacker allegedly threatened to cause more online chaos for the websites if his demands were not met within 24 hours. The hacker reportedly said that the next attack would hurt other businesses in Atlantic City because it would knock out their Internet service provider. Although the casinos refused to pay the ransom, the hacker did not follow through on the threats.
Thankfully, no money was taken from player accounts as a result of the cyber attack. Additionally, authorities do not believe that the personal information of any players on the websites was comprised. It is worth noting that New Jersey law requires casinos to keep player money in separate accounts, so that a cyber attack would not give a hacker access to user funds.
Investigating the Atlantic City Cyber Attack
In the aftermath of the online attack, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement has been closely monitoring the situation and taking steps to ensure that the gaming websites, as well as websites operated by other Atlantic City casinos, are safe against future cyber attacks.
Several other local and federal agencies are also assisting with the investigation. Those agencies include the New Jersey State Police, the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the FBI.
Authorities believe that they know who committed the cyber attack. However, the identity of the hacker has not yet been released to the public.
Although online gaming sites in the United States are rarely victimized by hackers, New Jersey authorities are definitely on the alert for future cyber attacks that could potentially compromise user data. Since New Jersey legalized online gaming in November 2013, NJ residents have been able to legally play poker, blackjack and other games by accessing online casinos.
To learn more about the cyber attack of online casinos in Atlantic City, check out the NJ.com article at http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/07/cyberattack_hits_nj_gambling_sites.html.
John W. Tumelty is a former prosecutor with years of experience defending clients accused of casino crimes and computer crimes. If you have been accused of using your computer to commit a crime, Mr. Tumelty is a tough, no-nonsense criminal defense attorney who can help you fight the charges. Call him today to schedule a free consultation.