The question of whether it’s possible to hack a casino has crossed every player’s mind at least once. Not only out of curiosity, but also for their own safety — after all, when we register our data and card details at any gambling app Australia we expect it to be safe. But what if someone could steal it through a casino hack?
Is it possible to hack into a casino and who has managed to do that?
Online casinos have been operating for years and have learned to protect themselves from all kinds of threats. A successful casino has a lot of money and is very careful about security. And the security systems are improving over time.
Despite the best security efforts, a break-in is possible and it happens from time to time. Nothing is 100% immune. Robberies of some of the most impregnable land-based facilities do happen, and not just in movies, but in reality as well. The same is true in online gambling. However, only the best hackers can hack a site, because the richer the site, the stronger the security methods it chooses.
From time to time there are reports on the Internet about real attacks on casinos or other gambling operators. And in some cases, they are successful. The goals are different. Some want to steal information so they can sell the player database, as in the case of MGM. Others seize control to demand a ransom. Others spy on competitors or simply try to hijack player accounts and steal their accounts.
Real casino hacking cases
Perhaps the funniest case in which a hacker got away with it is the hacking of Primedice, an operator offering dice games with guaranteed fairness. An unknown player, known as Hufflepuff, started playing dice at a rate of $8,000 per second. In doing so, he won very frequently and amassed a substantial sum. Careful checks by the operator revealed no cheating, after which it was decided that the player was just very lucky.
Hufflepuff ended up withdrawing over 2,400 bitcoins, which were worth around $1 million at the time of the incident in 2014, and later became worth many times that amount. It turned out to be all about the very integrity guarantee that was supposed to show users that the game was being played fairly.
It turned out that Hufflepuff had simply managed to hack into this guarantee system, so that it would not encrypt the results of future draws, but would give them in the clear. To do this, the operator’s server was overloaded with requests, eventually allowing a “glimpse into the future”.
After finding out what had happened, the operator demanded money back, but in return the hacker managed to cheat them again for 2,000 bitcoins. And in an interview, he noted that bitcoin casinos are run by idiots.
In August 2018, the Americas Cardroom poker room suffered a hacking attack that resulted in the cancellation of many tournaments worth around $10 million. The attackers were never able to complete the job, and after a few days the operator managed to beat back the attack and resume operations.
Britain’s National Lottery
Other cyber criminals, however, had to pay the price for their actions. In July 2018, two hackers were found and arrested for hacking into Britain’s National Lottery website. The hack was partly successful, as more than 25,000 accounts were accessed.
Those arrested only got one 8 months and the other 4 months in jail, as no money was stolen from the players. Although it cost the lottery operator £200,000 to investigate and find the culprits.
Breaking into land-based casinos
It’s not just online establishments that suffer from hacking, but land-based ones as well. In 2019 there was a case at an MGM casino where 142 million players’ data was stolen. Personal details, addresses, phone numbers were compromised, but not financial information.
As a result of the successful casino hack, a player database was made available for sale on the internet black market. The credibility of the sold data was confirmed and the casino officially admitted that the incident had in fact occurred.
Binions and 4 Queens
In Vegas, two establishments, Binions and 4 Queens, experienced a problem in the spring of 2020. Their computers, various customer processing systems and slot machines stopped working. For about a week, the casinos were unable to fix the problem. There was speculation that someone had found a way to hack into the casino and deliberately knocked out all the important systems and demanded a ransom.
Logins and passwords in the public domain
It is not uncommon to try to hack into a casino. But sometimes it is enough of a single stroke of luck to get the keys to the closed doors of the operator. There was a case where a rather large casino, BetVictor, simply left their internal files in the public domain. They were found by an honest user in the Q&A section.
Among the documents were support manuals, which revealed outrageous details about what the casino actually teaches its support operators. One of the files contained logins, passwords and links to login pages. The establishment was lucky that a decent person discovered the problem.
Which operators are at risk?
Anyone who chooses to skimp on security is at risk. But one category is more vulnerable and not even because of the technical specifications. Casinos that operate in unregulated markets are unlikely to involve government agencies to find abusers.
In fact, they themselves operate illegally when they serve countries where online gambling is banned or where a local licence is needed to operate. So even if there is a break-in, they will have to deal with the problem themselves.
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Check out these top Canadian online casinos.
The published material expresses the position of the author, which may not coincide with the opinion of the editor.