Two of Tasmania’s Four Casinos Were Hit by A Ransomware Attack
Ransomware Attack Forced Tasmania’s Two Casinos to Suspend Operations for 10 Days. Hotel Check-in Services Have Also Been Impacted.
Federal Group, a casino operator in Tasmania has confirmed two of its casinos have been offline since the Easter weekend because of a ransomware attack.
Its gaming machines at Hobart’s Wrest Point and the Country Club in Launceston and hotel booking system have been down for an entire week as a consequence of the ransomware attack. The casino operator hasn’t given a date for when clients can expect services to restart, nor has mentioned whether the hackers managed to steal customer-sensitive data.
The organization confirmed on Tuesday the attack involved ransomware. A ransomware attack is a type of online attack that threatens to publish data unless a ransom is paid before it will restore access to the files, normally being paid using Bitcoin or another type of cryptocurrency. Read more about ransomware attacks and how do they work here.
They also stated that the attack is being investigated both internally and externally by cybersecurity specialists.
Federal Group executive director Daniel Hanna stated:
As a result of hard work by our team and external experts, including over the Easter long weekend, the immediate incident itself has been contained.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre was notified and is coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies and continued forensic analysis.
Several former Federal Group IT employees said that credit card details captured during historic transactions and saved in the company’s hotel booking system could have been disclosed, as well as the electronic gaming systems at both casinos.
As we said before, the company doesn’t know yet if any customer-sensitive data has been leaked during the ransomware attack, but they are investigating.
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Even though Federal Group owns a monopoly on gaming machines in Tasmania, nothing shows that pokies outside the casinos have been impacted during the ransomware attack.
International privacy and security consultant Terry Aulich, a former federal senator and Tasmanian minister, stated gaming and gambling companies would be first on the list to be targeted by cybercriminals.
It’s a view we have in Tassie that somehow or other the awful things that go on overseas, whether it’s in IT or whatever, that it’s not going to happen here in dear little old Tassie. That’s entirely untrue.
The company didn’t share information about the ransom requested by the hackers, nor has mentioned if it will be paying up to recover the encrypted data.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the ransomware attack was “challenging”, but Federal Group was doing its best to restore its services.