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The online gambling industry is a lucrative target for various fraudsters and hackers. Mainly, it’s because casino websites are a gateway to the customers’ credit
cards, bank accounts, and other sensitive data. By hacking an online casino, malicious actors can easily get access to the financial and/or personal info of clients. However, there are more reasons for the growing number of gambling-related hacks. What are they? Let’s figure out.
Disclaimer: This article doesn’t include information about gambling
strategies or tips. We don’t know how to hack slots or video poker machines.
Please, be aware that all hacks are illegal.
First and foremost, let’s try to understand why hackers are targeting online casinos today. During the last decade, the online gambling market has grown significantly. In 2017, it was valued at $45.8 billion. Moreover, the researchers predict that the industry will reach almost $100 billion in value by 2024!
This growth is driven by scientific advances and the mass adoption of technologies. People tend to switch to online solutions in various industries, including online gambling sites. Modern players can access any game they want without leaving home, using only a computer, a smartphone or a tablet. Obviously, demand affects supply, so new online casinos pop up regularly.
It’s no longer a matter of skills. Thanks to the variety of online casino software solutions, anybody can launch a website and start its own gambling business. Companies like SoftGamings offer software to casinos and even turnkey solutions. Game providers such as Playtech also deliver ready-to-use products in the form of slots, table games, etc. It’s even possible to launch an advanced casino solution on top of the blockchain platform like FunFair.
Sounds utopian, doesn’t it? Well, there’s something that ruins this ideal world of online gambling. Web-based casinos that don’t take proper cybersecurity measures attract fraudsters.
Get us right, we don’t think that all online gambling websites lack appropriate protection. There are platforms that invest millions in security annually. But there are many other platforms vulnerable to simple DDoS attacks or phishing. Small businesses often don’t have enough resources to protect their websites from hacks so they suffer from breaches. Cybercriminals target these fresh and unprotected sites to get what they want with little effort.
Precisely, there are a few notable reasons for hacking online gambling systems. The first one is purely financial. A hacker can enter “protected” areas of websites, access user accounts, and cash out winnings. Modern systems don’t allow intruders to get direct access to credit cards or bank accounts. Nevertheless, they can easily wipe out casino balances. That’s why we suggest withdrawing large winnings to your personal accounts.
The second reason refers to sensitive information of customers. By accessing databases, hackers obtain info on emails, phones, addresses, and more. Then, they can use this information for fraudulent activities. Here are several examples:
● Perform new attacks. While fraudsters can’t access bank accounts, they can use casinos for further attacks. Accessing personal profiles, they can change passwords or perform malicious actions.
● Sell data to other parties. Many companies are ready to pay for data. Have you received newsletters from service providers that you have never used? Most likely, your e-mail address was sold or leaked then.
● Send spam. Apart from selling databases, hackers can use them for their own purposes. The most popular case is to send spam or add email addresses to affiliate networks. The same applies to phones and real-world addresses.
● Use malware. Using sensitive data of casino customers, malicious actors can distribute viruses or other types of malware to get more information or even money.
Overall, the main purpose of casino hacks lies in obtaining data. Poorly protected gambling sites gather tons of valuable information about players but can’t make their systems secure. That’s why hackers target them.
Well, let’s quickly look at how cybercriminals access sites. One of the most popular attacks is DDoS. Put simply, with enough processing power, hackers can send myriads of false requests to the chosen server. This interrupts its stable work and causes crashes, so hackers can demand a ransom to stop DDoS.
Another type of attack allows hackers to access protected areas and obtain data. They can use phishing techniques to get credentials or distribute malware through third-party services like GPWA. It’s even possible to hack the website via IoT devices!
there’s one more type of hacks and it targets brick-and-mortar casinos. A
famous story of Russian hacker Alex shows how professionals can exploit
PRNG-based slots in different casinos worldwide.
In conclusion, we want to mention “nice” guys that perform hacks. These are cybersecurity experts who have enough knowledge to spot vulnerabilities of websites. However, they don’t exploit these issues for their own benefit. Instead, they report bugs to webmasters or site owners so they can fix problems. Usually, these white-hat hackers get rewarded for their help.
As for casino websites, they also tend to pay hackers who report vulnerabilities. Sometimes, they can even hire a person to lead a cybersecurity department. This form of cooperation is mutually beneficial but not all hackers are white-hat. That’s why casinos strive to win this battle by improving their security systems. So, we hope that casinos will be quick enough to timely protect their users.