New Jersey gaming officials believe they know the identity of the hacker responsible for a cyber attack on a handful of Garden State gaming sites over the 4th of July weekend.
The distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack caused a disruption to the gaming sites of four casinos beginning on Thursday, July 2 and extended through Sunday the 5th. A ransom demand followed the attack and included the threat of additional DDOS chicanery if the demand was not met, NJ.com reported.
The hacker wanted to be paid in Bitcoin, the crypto-currency that is traded in near anonymity. No ransom was paid.
Although the sites affected were not revealed, players in New Jersey can rest assured that officials are on top of the situation and that no player accounts or identities were compromised. Investigating the matter are the FBI, State Police, Division of Gaming Enforcement and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
DDOS Attacks a Problem Everywhere
Unfortunately, DDOS attacks are quite common in the realm of online gaming. Whether it’s criminals intent on profiting illegally or computer wizards who get an ego boost by being able to disrupt the normal activities of websites, it happens.
DDOS attacks caused the cancellation of a huge online poker tournament that featured a $1 million prize pool on the Winning Poker Network earlier this year. The event got underway, but WPN officials were forced to shut it down and refund buy-ins to all players. The event was replayed at a later date and completed.
Even large poker rooms such as PokerStars and Partypoker are not immune to the mischief of hackers. Both can also be added to the list of sites that have suffered DDOS attacks in the past.
The cyber attacks are accomplished by overloading websites with too much data. The information becomes more than the servers can handle, rendering the targeted sites inaccessible for a period of time.
What to Do
Computers and the Internet won’t be going away anytime soon. It’s best that online poker players realize and accept that sometimes disruptions in service may occur, whether it’s a DDOS attack, a connection issue with your Internet service provider, or a problem stemming from a power outage perhaps due to inclement weather.
In the case of DDOS attacks, online poker sites are very adept at recognizing when it occurs and will normally go out of their way to refund players who are victimized. That includes the poker sites in New Jersey such as WSOP.com, BorgataPoker.com, Partypoker.com and 888poker.com. All are oriented toward providing excellent customer service and will certainly not penalize players who happen to lose a tournament buy-in due to a DDOS attack.