Online Gambling Sites Hit By Major DDOS Attack
Online gambling sites in the UK and Europe were hit by a major wave of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks this week and weekend. Servers at companies including Betfair and PokerStars groaned under the weight of the assault while customers struggled to log on to their accounts.
So far, no one has taken credit for the attacks but most sources agree that profit via blackmail is the most likely motive. Cyber criminals recently hit Betat Casino with a DDOS attack and demanded a ransom of roughly $2,200 (USD) in Bitcoin and there’s every reason to believe that’s the case here.
Hackers have long targeted online gambling sites during peak times in the hopes of arranging quick payouts and this week is a particularly busy one for UK-facing bookmakers. Besides the finale of the Masters Golf Tournament and this weekend is Britain’s Grand National horse racing event.
While multiple sites seem to have been targeted by the attacks, Betfair is the only one that’s really acknowledged any difficulties. In a Tweet from its help desk this weekend the company said:
(We are) currently experiencing a DDOS attack on our site, which is stopping all site traffic.
By Monday afternoon company officials said that all had returned to normal, but there’s no way of knowing how long that calm would hold. Authorities in the UK are still unsure as whether the attacks are a coincidence or the work of a single criminal entity.