comscore Hacker attacks gambling websites, demands Bitcoin ransom | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Top News

Hacker attacks gambling websites, demands Bitcoin ransom

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
    New Jersey gambling regulators said on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 that a hacker briefly shut down four Internet gambling sites in the state last week, demanding a ransom payment in the Bitcoin online currency. No ransom was paid, and no player accounts were breached, authorities said.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. >> A hacker shut down four New Jersey Internet gambling sites for half an hour last week and threatened more cyberattacks over the holiday weekend unless a ransom was paid using the online currency Bitcoin, authorities said Tuesday.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Division, said Thursday’s attack was a so-called distributed denial of service attack, in which websites were flooded with information and requests for access that rendered them inoperative.

"The attack was followed by the threat of a more powerful and sustained attack to be initiated 24 hours later unless a Bitcoin ransom was paid," Rebuck said. "This follow-up attack had the potential to not only negatively impact the targeted casinos, but also all business in Atlantic City" that share the same Internet service provider.

No ransom was paid. Rebuck said due to a response by law enforcement and casino staff, "the threat was mitigated with no significant disruption to service. All involved remain on heightened alert but are relieved that the holiday weekend has passed without incident. "

Rebuck did not identify the sites that were affected nor the size of the ransom sought. But he said numerous local and state law enforcement agencies are investigating.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that, in addition to its legitimate uses, also has proven popular with online criminals.

No player money was stolen and no personal information was compromised in the incident.

New Jersey began Internet gambling in November 2013, and is one of three states in the nation that permit it, along with Nevada and Delaware.

It got off to a slower than expected start here but has shown signs of growth in recent months. New Jersey casinos won $122 million from Internet customers in 2014, its first full year of operation.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to view ongoing news coverage of the Maui wildfires. Sign up for our free e-newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Download the Honolulu Star-Advertiser mobile app to stay on top of breaking news coverage.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up