Sands Casino Was Reported to Have Been Hacked by the Group From Iran
A professional group of hackers From Iran has hacked the company that runs the Las Vegas Sands casino. Some specialists even call it an “IT catastrophe”. The hackers are believed to have attacked the company as a revenge on the company’s owner from Israel.
Even though the attack has been announced only recently, it has been completed 10 months before – on the 10th February.
The security breach was investigated by the Dell SecureWorks. They found out that hackers were able to infiltrate the casino’s systems using brute-force password attacks during January. Then on 1st February they were able to find a weakness in a web development server in Bethlehem.
Exploiting the security weakness with the Mimikatz tool they were able to retrieve passwords of a senior systems engineer. These credentials were later on used to access the company’s main servers located in Las Vegas. Later on hackers used the ‘wiper’ software to erase data from multiple hard drives thus causing a huge problems to the company running the casino.
The investigation did not come up with any strong evidences that Iran government assisted the hackers to perform the attack. However, they state that taking into account the internet control in the country it is highly unlikely that the group of hackers could be able to perform a cyber attack of this scale without the local government knowing about it.
One of the reasons why the companies owner, Sheldon Adelson, was targeted is his statements that Iran should be targeted with a nuclear bomb so they would stop their own nuclear program. He expressed this opinion in October 2013.
This security breach is currently being compared to the infamous attack on Sony Pictures that is still a huge point of attention around the world. The recent North Korea hackers’ attack on the Japanese company has raised the public awareness on the cyber security showing that they are in constant danger of being involved in an attack and their information being ceased by third parties.
It is obvious that with the increasing number of security breaches companies need to react faster an minimize the impact of the breach as much as possible. However, it is very hard and security experts agree that neither Sony, nor Sands made any mistakes coping with the attacks. What was lacking though was the experience. Companies need to know if they can allow themselves to shut down certain systems affected by the attack without shutting down their systems completely. They also need to know the best way to prevent the attack affecting other systems as well.
It is no secret that sooner or later hackers can breach any system. The question is how to delay it as much as possible and how to notice and stop the breach in the shortest time possible.
The Sands and Sony cases also show a shift in the hacker trend from obtaining information to destroying it during the attack. Both of these methods can cause huge losses for both enterprises and individuals: data destruction may have immediate effect while the leak of information may cause bigger problems in the long run.
Casinos and big gaming companies are known to have more secure systems than US government itself. These breaches should indicate that it is very important to take our information security very seriously. And one of the best ways to secure your information is to hide your online activities. VPN helps you do exactly that. NordVPN encrypts your data using encryption as strong as the one used by governments to make sure that your privacy is not harmed.