Feeds

DON'T PANIC! No credit card details lost after hackers crack world's largest casino group

Las Vegas Sands email and website still down after hackers trash CEO Sheldon Adelson

The essential guide to IT transformation

IT administrators at the Las Vegas Sands casino are having a tough time restoring their systems after hackers successfully got inside the corporation's firewall, but it appears that the most valuable sections of the network are safe, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Board chairman A.G. Burnett told Associated Press that the credit card database of customers at the world's largest gambling chain is secure, and that the integrity of the gambling systems run by the chain hasn't been breached, so no Ocean's 11–style antics are expected.

The problems for the casino started on Monday when the attackers took control of the company's website and posted an image of the consortium's US casinos in flames, along with a picture of CEO Sheldon Adelson with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the message "Damn A, don't let your tongue cut your throat. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any conditions, is a crime."

Hackers deface the Las Vegas Sands website

Hardly a well-designed website

More worryingly, the hackers also added a scrolling list of employees, their email addresses, some social security numbers, and other identifying information. The Sands website is still down and a spokesperson confirmed to El Reg that the email systems still haven't been switched back on.

"While we have been able to confirm that certain core operating systems were not impacted by the hacking, the company remains focused on working through a step-by-step process to ascertain what, if any, additional systems may have been impacted," Sands spokesman Ron Reese said in a reported statement.

At first sight this looks like a politically motivated attack against Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire CEO of the Sands group. Adelson's biography reads like a Horatio Alger myth: the son of poor Ukrainian immigrants who became the ninth richest man in the world, and he's known in the technology industry as the founder of the COMDEX trade show, which he sold in 1995 for $862m.

Adelson also donates millions to American political campaigns – almost exclusively to the Republican Party and its candidates – and is somewhat outspoken on foreign policy issues in the Middle East. The hacker's message presumably refers to a comment he made suggesting the US should explode a nuclear weapon over uninhabited Iran's land as a precursor to negotiations over its nuclear program – a comment he later dismissed as hyperbole.

Defacing a website isn't too hard, and usually has minimal effect on the owners, but the fact that internal systems were broken into to is cause for concern. Seemingly innocuous hacking or DDoS attacks have been used in the past to mask deeper penetrations in the past, and computer forensics teams will be scouring through server logs to find out exactly what happened.

Nevada gaming officials are investigating the attack at the moment, and the FBI is also reported to be looking into the case. Neither was available for comment at time of going to press. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?