Hackers hit UK bookmaker William Hill with a major attack that crashed the company’s main site and left punters unable to place their wagers. This is only the latest example of what’s become a troubling trend of hacker attacks against gambling operators.

The William Hill attack began on Tuesday night as football fans were placing action on big-time UEFA Champions League matches, including Arsenal and Manchester City and came in the form of distributed denial of service (DDos). This type of hack involves a full-on assault of a server with thousands of fake requests for service from PCs that have been taken over by the hackers. The onslaught of requests overwhelms servers and ultimately causes the site to crash (which is what happened in this case).

William Hill’s tech teams scrambled into action to fight the attack and by Wednesday morning had restored most services to their customers.

In a statement published on their corporate site, company officials had this to say about the attack:

The online services of William Hill were intermittently impacted during the course of yesterday following distributed denial of service (DDoS) activity by third parties.

This follows a significant increase in DDoS activity experienced by a number of online companies over recent weeks.

While the attempt at disruption is ongoing our technical teams were able to restore services last night. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers

DDoS attacks on gambling sites are an increasingly common tactic employed by international hacker gangs. In many instances, the hackers will demand payments from operators to end the assault. While it’s believed that some operators have taken this deal, thought it’s not been suggested that that is the case in this instance.

Though William Hill is back in business, it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before another big-time operator is hit with this kind of attack.


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