Online casinos are some of the most visited sites on the Internet. And, as you might expect, millions of people are either already registered or are registering right now, and every minute of every day there are multiple transactions between the platforms. So cybersecurity is a big deal. Operators need to keep their services secure, and customers want to feel safe playing online. One of the first steps that should be taken regarding online casinos and cybersecurity concerns licensing. This is why the best casinos have become synonymous with high levels of security, hiring teams of loss prevention officers in and around the casino floor to limit the damage. A prime example is the high-quality casinos NZ that offer 1 dollar deposit casino NZ and significantly increase your chances of winning.
As casinos do more and more business online, the threat from scammers remains the same, if not increased before – only the scenery has changed. So instead of chip-switching scams, hidden earpieces, and hacking, we see new methods:
- DDoS attacks
- game hacks
- Port Scan Attacks
- Fraud involving user accounts, etc.
Cybersecurity is becoming a growing problem for casino operators, if not more important than security at offline casinos. With a more compressed target and a million and one ways to potentially infiltrate digitized systems, casinos must be more proactive than ever to protect their platforms.
Risks of hacking
Hacking is a major risk for online casinos from cyberattacks, and operators must take steps to prevent loopholes and exploits from being accessed by criminals through the back door.
If a casino is vulnerable, it could potentially expose its customers’ data to fraudsters, who could then use that data to steal – directly or indirectly from the customer or the casino.
There may also be a more direct risk of payment information falling into the wrong hands – such as credit card information, which could easily be seized by hackers to cause significant harm to the holder. In addition to casinos’ responsibility to do everything they can to protect their customers, there are several other significant reasons why casinos should step up their operations and take steps to protect against these threats. For casino operators in the EU, GDPR rules require public disclosure of any data leaks almost as soon as they become apparent, which is a PR disaster waiting to see if any data is compromised. There could also be licensing problems for those who are found wanting.
And, of course, it does nothing to build trust between the customer and their casino if online casinos are vulnerable to this type of attack. This can have long-term consequences for casino operators, and as we’ve seen in the case of high-profile hacks over the years, there’s a real potential to destroy a trusted casino brand. Unfortunately, this is not a static picture, as risks and protections in cybersecurity are constantly changing and evolving. As a consequence, casinos must take the risk seriously and take steps to protect against these threats both now and in the future.
The integrity of the game
Here is another important point of trust for the casino. A casino operator is as good as its games, and if hackers can compromise the integrity of the gaming experience, there is a risk of undermining the broader trust in the integrity and legitimacy of online gambling platforms.
Players want to know that they are participating in a fair game with a legitimate chance of winning. But if hackers can gain access to exploits in the gaming software, the results for players and casinos could be disastrous.
Port Scan Attacks
As mentioned earlier, hackers are constantly looking for weaknesses. This process can be fully automated: they simply probe random IP addresses, trying to find an open port or guess a password.
On every server (and on every computer in general) there will be many different services running. To connect to the network, they use ports, which serve as a means of communicating with the Internet.
While some ports are necessary (they allow the use of web functions and remote administration), others are best kept closed from all users of the World Wide Web.
Port scanning is usually the beginning of a cyberattack, a way for a hacker to find a vulnerability that can be used to gain access to your system.
To better illustrate the process, imagine your server is a cabin in the woods. And the hacker is a thief who circles it and constantly pulls every door handle. Looking for unlocked doors, and peeking under every doormat to see if a spare key is hidden somewhere.
And while you may be happy to have guests announce themselves and enter through the front door, you won’t like it if someone sneaks in through the bathroom window.
When you run your web server for the first time, many services start automatically with open ports and passwords set by default, making you immediately vulnerable. A lucky hacker who stumbles across your IP address during a scan can quickly get your data or even gain root access.
A Distributed Denial of Service (or DDoS) attack is an extremely simple and widespread cyberthreat. It takes the form of a stream of traffic that overloads the target system and, as a result, dramatically slows down data exchange or causes the server to crash.
Cybercriminals use huge networks of malware-infected computers, called botnets, to perpetrate these attacks. Since the traffic does not come from a single source, but from some seemingly random machines, it is not easy to separate it from the real users.
There are many different types of DDoS attacks, varying in technical implementation. In a very broad sense, they can be classified as infrastructure attacks and application attacks.
One of the most dangerous and destructive attacks, and every cybersecurity manager’s worst nightmare. Ransomware or ransomware is a type of malware that uses encryption to make files on a computer completely inaccessible. The methods used in these attacks ensure that the data cannot be decrypted in a time frame acceptable to the victim. The hackers then ask for a ransom in exchange for a decryption key that can be used to return the files.
Ransomware is by far the worst kind of cybersecurity breach because until the data is decrypted, your platform will be completely disabled. One example of how catastrophic the consequences can be is the March 2020 attack on SBTech.
The incident occurred at the worst possible time for the company, as it was in the process of merging with DraftKings. SBTech’s iGaming platform for casino games and sports betting was down for a full week.
While many of the hacks on this list look like special operations straight out of Hollywood movies, some attackers are simply trying to steal some money by hacking into platform functionality available to players. These hacks include everything from finding ways to get free bonus money to reverse-engineering game mechanics to get desired results in the game.
Measures to counteract hacker attacks
Keep your software up to date
Hackers are constantly examining software for weaknesses. Developers fix bugs and close holes that can be used to break into the system, but it is important to implement these changes to protect yourself.
Make sure your staff is trained
Even the most sophisticated hacks often require a person to click a link, download a file, or click a button. For this reason, trained personnel who are aware of cybersecurity threats can be an insurmountable bastion of protection.
Make sure the law is on your side
Dealing with the consequences of a cyberattack is difficult enough, but if you can’t count on the authorities to help you, the situation will become even more disastrous.
Unlicensed black market gambling operators are the main target of hackers. Hackers can steal data, extort money and yet, get away with it even if they are exposed.
There’s a reason they say better safe than sorry. The best way to make sure your iGaming platform is safe is to put it to the test.
Pentest, or penetration testing, is when you ask cybersecurity experts to hack your site. And if they succeed, you can patch vulnerabilities and protect yourself from a real malicious attack.