At least four Atlantic City online casinos were hit by a series of cyber attacks last week, according to State and federal authorities. An investigation has already begun to find criminals who performed a number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks with the aim of blackmailing the casinos to obtain a bitcoin ransom.
According to New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck the attacks began over the 4th July holiday weekend and continued through to Sunday.
“At least four casinos were impacted and experienced downtime,” David Rebuck told NJ.com, advising that the assaults lasted on average for around 30 minutes. “We’re continuing to monitor.”
The attacks were followed up with threats of more powerful ones within 24 hours if an undisclosed ransom in Bitcoin currency was not promptly paid to the perpetrators. The logic behind demanding a ransom in a virtual currency is that is extremely difficult to trace.
Rebuck stated that it wasn’t just the online casinos under attack, as many of the land-based operators in Atlantic City share the same internet services.
David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told NJ.com that this is the first time in years that an attack on online casinos in the US has been witnessed.
“It happens quite a bit offshore,” he said, adding that it frequently comes with a ransom demand.