According to the findings of Talent-Jump Technologies, numerous online casinos and betting sites located in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East were targets of hacker attacks originating from China. The investigation conducted by the security firm discovered these attacks were ongoing since May 2019.
Cyber Intruders not After Money?
The group behind the attacks is called “DRBControl” and the investigation so far has shown that its members weren’t going after the players’ money. Instead, they were gathering the information stored in the operators’ databases. So, according to the available information, their goal was cyber espionage rather than theft.
Hackers were using two backdoors to perform the attacks, neither of which was known previously. They combined these system weaknesses with post-exploitation tools and several improved strains of malware, creating a very powerful arsenal that they directed against their targets.
Trend Micro, the company that Talent-Jump Technologies reached out to in order to help them with the investigation has expressed its suspicions that these hackers may have ties to the Chinese state. Although they don’t have a definitive proof of this, the security firm has a reason to believe these ties exist based on certain tools that were used in the attacks.
Other Vital Information Targeted by Hackers
In addition to extracting user information from operators’ databases, hackers were also stealing source code and other sensitive data from attacked servers. So, it would seem that they were going after the data that would possibly enable them to replicate the tech and set up casinos and betting shops locally.
Of course, it’s quite possible that these gambling sites weren’t hackers’ final goals. Almost all of these companies are parts of larger groups that run multiple business and have much larger databases containing all sorts of information.
So, by accessing online casinos, the attackers may have been looking for ways to penetrate deeper into the network and access this data as well. Now that the attack was discovered and prevented, this risk is significantly lowered although it is still possible that certain casinos that were targets of these attacks haven’t been discovered during the investigation.
Online Gambling & Data Safety
This latest incident goes to show that the information is never fully protected online even when companies put a lot of efforts towards protecting their confidential databases. With so many potential exploits that are still to be uncovered and a range of powerful tools, someone with good knowledge of how to use these tools can still circumvent the protective measures.
From the players’ point of view, this is, of course, concerning. Although personal funds weren’t touched during these incidents, there is no telling as to what might happen next time. Additionally, it’s hard to tell what kind of information hackers have accessed during the intrusion and what their plans with this information are.
This is why it’s paramount for the players to always only stick to reputable operators who at least do everything in their power to prevent these types of attacks. Although no one can fully prevent them from happening, those with higher security standards aren’t as likely to become targets as the sites that invest very little into improving and maintaining their safety levels.
Stay Aware & Responsible
With all this being said, it is also crucial for you, as a player, to stay alert at all times. Should you notice any kind of unusual activity on your bank accounts, credit cards, or similar, it is important to act immediately and take preventive measures. In a fast world of today, it is easy to let things slip by and not pay attention to them until the situation gets very serious but if you gamble online, you need to be extra careful.
As this recent attack shows, gambling operators represent prime targets for hackers for a variety of reasons so you should be on your toes. While serious casinos will do their best to protect your information and notify you about any potential breeches that might have an effect on you, you should do your part as well.
At the end of the day, no one has more vested interest in keeping you safe than you do yourself. So, take a bit of time every now and then to make sure everything is fine and there are no suspicious activities in sight. It will help you sleep better at night and ensure you act early if there is something strange going on.