Hacker attacks on casinos and the fight against them

Hacker attacks on casinos

The peculiar feature of hacker attacks is that they usually become obvious due to failures. Despite the fact that with the usage of modern means of cyber-defense, successful hacks are quite rare, there were the unfortunate cases in the history as well.


The history of hacking and cheating attempts at land-based casinos involves much more years than the history of hacking as a type of criminal activity. Interrupting the operation of gambling machines was considered to be the first attempts of hacking casino security systems. There were many ways to conduct such insignificant as well as more serious types of fraud. Sometimes these ways were quite primitive but in other cases, they were quite complex and required special skills.

Thus, the most popular ways to deceive the sensors of gaming slots was making fake coins, cutting them, or using light sticks. The latter made it possible to block the light sensors of the gaming machine so that when any winning combination occurred, the coins started to fall out of the slot and their flow virtually never stopped. With the modern level of security in land-based gambling houses, such rogue tricks have already sunk into oblivion.

While fake coins for slots were gradually disappearing, online gambling platforms were becoming increasingly popular. The change in the emphasis or the shift to online gambling platforms marked a new chapter, which allowed us to look at casino fraud from a completely different perspective. That is how hacker attacks on the casino appeared.

In the modern world, which is now impossible to imagine without permanent use of the Internet, it is common to call any breaches of a security system hacker attacks.

Fight against hacker attacks

Originally, the phrase ‘hacker attack’ had the meaning which was completely different from the generally accepted one. It indicated brainstorming necessary for solving super-complex tasks in a sophisticated manner.

In fact, what is commonly called a ‘hacker attack’ is nothing but a cracker attack (an action aimed at gaining control over a remote computing system).

Why can a casino be a good target for hackers? The thing is that it is impossible to imagine online casinos without the ability to replenish a deposit account or withdraw the profits through bank cards or e-wallets. When registering and logging in, the user shares the information necessary for gambling organizers, which is a sweet spot for fraudsters. In recent years, few of the skilled scammers have chosen the world online casino brands to hack. The thing is that, as a rule, such companies have a huge budget spent on ensuring cybersecurity and purchasing the necessary software. That is why mid-level online platforms often become the targets for them.


Famous hacker attacks on casinos

Famous hacker attacks on casinos

One of the most scandalous stories of the recent years was the case when hackers tried to crack an American casino through a smart aquarium. The latter was automatically feeding the inhabitants and monitoring the adherence to climatic norms. Using its system, the scammers managed to transfer data to a server in Finland, after which they were exposed by the company that was responsible for security. Through cracking the aquarium system, hackers found the weak points in the security systems of a gambling house. The target of the attackers was a database of casino players. In this way, they could find out what visitors leave large sums of money in the gambling house. In addition, other personal data of visitors was stolen as well.

Such use of smart technology, including drawing tablets, is not a new thing in the hacker world.

One of the most notorious historical examples of hacker attacks involved the actions of Polish programmers Piotr Smirnow and Patryk Surmacki. These names became famous not only due to the failure of the operation, but also because the attackers blackmailed the owner of the British online casino before breaking into it. After the ultimatum delivered by them had no effect, they moved from words to deeds. Firstly, they wanted to receive 50%, otherwise they threatened to hack the server. When trying to hack an American company server, criminals were exposed. In addition to redressing the material damage, both of them were about to be imprisoned.

An example of negligent attitude to the security of online casinos was the Canadian remote gambling center called Cowboys Casino. Hackers decided to teach its owners a lesson. According to hackers, there was literally no normal security system in the casino. Due to this, the system of monetary operations was hacked, the personal information of users was stolen, and the investors’ data was found on a public file sharing service.


Protection against hacker attacks

Protection against hacker attacks

The largest online gambling market in the world is located in the European Union. In many countries of Europe, remote gambling houses operate on a legal basis, under strict supervision of the state and gambling regulators. Personal Data Protection Regulation or the GDPR Regulation has been recently one of the most widely discussed laws. According to the terms of the document, its implementation is mandatory regardless of the region where the company is legally registered. The significant aspect is whether the company is collecting, processing or using the personal data of EU citizens. Strict rules related to the use of any kind of personal information apply to the gambling operators as well. If the norms are not observed, the license will either not be issued at all or will be revoked. Therefore, the purchase of software for the protection of personal data and ensuring security is an integral part of the work of modern gambling operators.


Methods and tools for protection against hacker attacks

Methods and tools against hacker attacks

  • Safeblocks. As a rule, smart contacts are tested before their launching, but this does not guarantee 100% protection from hackers’ tricks. That is why, the Safeblocks protection tool is additionally used in the process of operation. It is a network firewall that provides protection in a real-time mode;
  • Incapsula. The company provides a range of services related to cybersecurity. This tool is used as a turnkey solution;
  • Remuneration system for alert employees. The thing is that hackers easily identify not only to the weak points of software products, but also human soft spots, as it turned out. Sometimes criminals work through company employees to get the necessary information. That’s why it is important for the operator to encourage the efforts and achievements of his subordinates on time, thus, counting on their loyalty. And HoxHunt tool helps to do this;
  • PerimeterX is the tool helping to resist bot attacks;
  • Cloud Management Suite ensures automation of pre-compiled PATCH requests.

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