Infamous Casino Data Breaches

July 7, 2022 at 6:13 pm by Amanda Canale

While many industries were negatively impacted by the 2019 coronavirus pandemic, one industry not only survived, but thrived: the commercial gambling industry. The casino and commercial gambling industry made approximately $44 billion in 2021, shattering their previous 2019 record. Given this major spike, experts are predicting that the gambling industry will become a neon target for future thieves and cyberattacks.

In our previous blog, Just How Secure Are Casinos?, we broke down the varying security measures casinos take in the form of RFID software located in playing chips, license plate recognition, and other advanced software to ensure that no stealing or cheating occurs. Fortunately, this advanced technology allows the casinos to remotely render chips and other materials worthless if someone were to steal them and allows personnel to have eyes on gamblers at all times.

However, unfortunately, these measures do not completely prevent casinos from being hacked. We’ve broken down a few of the more infamous casino data breachers below and included best practices to ensure that your data stays protected.

Clubillion

In summer 2020, the gambling app, Clubillion, found that their database had been “leaking data” from millions of the app’s customers. The app was contacted on March 23, 2020 but the database was not secured until April 5, 2020. What makes this data breach different than other similar data breaches is that the database was updated with up to 50GB (or 200 million records) worth of information daily. These records logged every player’s actions, their personally identifiable information (PII), private messages, and even IP addresses.

A rep from Clubillion stated that, “on a single day, tens of thousands of individual Clubillion players were exposed.” In addition to a loss in reputation and customers, the popular gabling app may be subjected to other scrutiny and fines from GDPR regulators and GooglePlay and app stores.

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Federal Group

In April 2021, Tasmanian casino operator, Federal Group, found themselves in the midst of a cyberattack after their pokies machines (otherwise known as slot machines) and hotel booking systems began to malfunction. At the time of the breach, the casino group was unsure if credit card details stored in the hotel booking system were also compromised and have yet to publicly release that information.

International privacy and security consultant, Terry Aulich, stated that he was “extremely disappointed” with the business’ cyber defenses and warned other Tasmanian organizations to learn from Federal Group’s mistakes. Between Federal Group’s two casinos, patrons had spent upwards of $53.7 million on pokies in the eight months leading up to the breach. 

MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International became the victims of a data breach in summer 2019, but it was not made public until February 2020 after a third party published an article detailing the breach. The breach had compromised the records of over 10.6 million guests dating back from 2017. The cyberattackers were able to hack into the resort’s cloud server and then was posted to a public hacking forum. 

Guest PII such as full name, home and email addresses, phone numbers, and birthdates had all been breached, but luckily did not include financial or payment card information. The breach wasn’t also just limited to guests; victims ranged from tourists and travelers, to media reporters and journalists, to company executives and employees. 

At SEM, we offer secure, in-house destruction. With our low and high volume disintegrator solutions, casino materials and solid state boards can be easily destroyed to a predetermined and consistent particle size. As we know, casinos house a lot of sensitive information regarding personnel, patrons, financial information, and advanced technology that should be secured, even in end-of-life. 

Depending on the needs of the casino, SEM has every device necessary to properly and efficiently disintegrate chips as intended since our inception in 1967. Any one of our exceptional sales team members are more than happy to help answer any questions you may have and help determine which machine will best meet your destruction needs.

For more information on our casino solutions, visit our website here

 
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