Online casino gaming is relatively new in the state of New Jersey, with legislators only first allowing gaming to take place a little over a year ago. Players have certainly taken advantage, enjoy casino and poker gaming while living or visiting the state. Just recently an incident took place in New Jersey which has led other states such as Nevada and Delaware to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior.
A hacker decided to use a method of cyber-attack to shut down four online casinos in the state of New Jersey over the 4th of July holiday weekend. The sites only shut down for around 30 minutes but the attack and threats thereafter were enough to have officials and operators in New Jersey on edge for several days.
The Director of New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Division, David Rebuck, stated that the attack that took place on Thursday is called a distributed denial of service attack. This means that the New Jersey online casinos were flooded with information and access request, which causes the systems to shut down.
Once the attack took place, the hacker then sent a message stated that a second attack was on the horizon if a specific amount of money was not sent to the hacker in bitcoin. If the ransom was not paid, the hacker stated that a second attack would take place within a 24 hour time frame which would not only target casinos but also businesses that operate on the same provider for Internet service. This attack was said to be one that would impact all involved in a negative way.
Rebuck stated that no ransom was paid due to the response by the casinos staff members as well as the law enforcement officers. Once the threat was mitigated and there was no significant disruption to the online service, those who were involved remained on high alert but found no incident took place after the 24 hour time frame set forth by the hacker.
The Director never stated which online casinos were affected by the hacker as well as how much money was asked for in the ransom. Bitcoin is a virtual currency and has become quite popular with hackers. This hacker obviously thought payment would be sent but then did not follow thru with the threat after the online casinos did not send any monies. Officials have stated that no money was stolen during the shutdown nor was any personal information taken.
This incident sheds light on an issue that has happened more so overseas than in the United States. Online gaming is in its infancy in the US and operators have now seen a glimpse as to how hackers can affect the online gaming industry. Safe guards are to be set in place to help keep hackers from gaining access to personal information as well as money in player accounts. It is interesting to note that only the state of New Jersey was attacked while online poker and casino sites of Nevada and Delaware were left alone.