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Adelson’s Casinos Were Attacked by Iranian Hackers
- December 15, 2014 By Oliver Young -
Earlier this year, in February 2014, Las Vegas Sands Corporation was a victim of a cyber attack. More than a year has passed since then and finally there is some evidence about the case that shows the attack came from Iran. These reports were made by Bloomberg Businessweek this Thursday and in their article they called the event an IT catastrophe.
James Pfeiffer, an ex employee in the risk-management department in Las Vegas Sands explained the chaos that took place after people saw that nothing is working properly. “Hundreds of people were calling IT to tell them their computers weren’t working,” Pfeiffer said.
It is believed that the hackers were not trying to steal money, but to damage Sheldon Adelson’s business. Adelson is one of the wealthiest people in the world (22nd) and his net worth is set at $27.4 billion. Two of the things that make him known to the public are his strong support for the Republican Party and his attempts to prevent legalisation of online gambling in the United States.
The Damage Was Significant Even for Someone as Rich as Adelson
The exact date of the cyber attack was February the 10th. What was really happening in the offices of Las Vegas Sands was chaos: the e-mail was down, the phones couldn’t be used and the computers were flat lining. This would be a nightmare for everyone, especially when on the stakes is a $14 billion operation.
Reports revealed that it took almost a whole week for Las Vegas Sands Corp. to restore its websites and continue where it stopped before the attack. After people involved in the case gave interviews and some documents were leaked to the public, it was known that three quarters of the company’s servers were wiped out.
Some experts claimed that data recovery and building new systems may cost Las Vegas Sands Corp. around $40 million or even more.
The Real Target Was Sheldon Adelson
When somebody mentions a cyber attack of a casino, all people can think of is a robbery. However, the Iranian hackers were definitely not after money and the motive of the attack has a political background.
Experts said right from the start that the cyber attack was personal. The hackers were trying to punish the company and its CEO and majority owner Sheldon Adelson. This was the first thought of many executives after the attack took place.
Back in 2013, Adelson said that the United States should stop any negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program and nuke any unoccupied Iranian land as a warning. After the statement was made, Adelson was a target to many people and in 2013 were spent $3.3 million for protection of Adelson’s family and Adelson himself.
However, Las Vegas Sand’s CEO cannot stop stirring up the public by giving various statements similar to this as well as to fight online gambling. He even presented a pet project called RAWA that would make online gambling in America illegal. Luckily, the project was omitted from the US Government’s Spending Bill.