Hackers Attack Competing Online Poker Sites
The online gambling industry is a very competitive one, consisting of nearly 2,400 operators, all contending for online casino, poker, bingo and sports betting enthusiasts from every corner of the globe. But this latest attempt at customer acquisition went far beyond the boundaries of legal campaigning.
Last week, two Korean webmasters of an online gambling site were arrested for hacking 100 competitors’ gambling sites, having launched a DDOS attack intended to swipe clientele from rival operators. Throughout history, gambling businesses have been shrouded by a dark cloud of underhanded dealing, but this takes the technological cake.
A DDOS attack, or ‘distributed denial of service’ attack, as defined by Wikipedia, is an “attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users”. Thus, with 100 competitor online gambling sites mysteriously denying access to new users, these individuals are more likely to register an account with the online gambling site, unbeknownst to the user, at fault for the DDOS attack.
In Korea, there is a large crime syndicate based in Incheon. Apparently Yeom, a 34 year old member of the crime syndicate, supervised the DDOS attack, launched by Lee (32), the owner of the co-location company server that hosted the online gambling site in question, and Park, a hacker who managed the online gambling website.
The attack took place between November 21st and December 15th of 2010, hitting about 100 rival websites every day for approximately two hours a day. While this was going on, from November 23rd to December 10th, Lee also took to opportunity to carry out an attack on a job-scouting website that reclined to conduct business with his own company.
It is not clear yet how the DDOS attacks were detected, or what drew authorities to investigate and find the meaning and suspects. According to the case prosecutor, to the best of his knowledge, this is the first time any organized crime unit has employed a professional hacker to launch a DDOS attack on a rival. The case is still ongoing at the time being.