Las Vegas Sands Sites Go Down in Hack Attack
Apparently thanks to Sheldon Adelson’s controversial opinions about Iran, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation fell victim to a hack attack this week that saw all of its web sites go down.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, its central web operations were unaffected, but as of Wednesday many of the company’s sites remained inaccessible. The hacking incident took place on Monday.
Our attempts to view the main Las Vegas Sands Corporation web site were met with an error message reading, “THE WEBSITE IS UNDERGOING MAINTENANCE. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please check back shortly.”
The site then provides contact information for various individual Sands properties, like the Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip and the Sands Bethlehem property in Pennsylvania.
Controversial nuclear statements seem to be at the core of attack
After the attack, Las Vegas Sands company web sites carried a message suggesting that the event was motivated by comments that company head Sheldon Adelson made last year with regard to Iran.
Adelson, a major GOP figure who is vocally pro-Israel (his wife is also an Israeli national) stated in 2013 that he believes the U.S. should employ nuclear weapons against the country of Iran.
“Damn A, don’t let your tongue cut your throat. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any conditions, is a crime,” the message on the sites read.
Said company spokesperson Ron Reese via a statement, “The company remains focused on working through a step-by-step process to ascertain what, if any, additional systems may have impacted. The company continues to assist local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation into the hacking activity.”
No customer credit card information was compromised
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that there was no breach of Sands’ customer data. Financial information, including customer contact details and credit card numbers were secure, said A.G. Burnett, head of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The Las Vegas Sands and its properties regularly play host to deep-pocketed players, or high rollers. As proven by the security breach experienced by Target stores during the holiday season, such a security lapse can wreak havoc on customer loyalty and trust.
According to the AP, it is not yet known whether hackers were able to gather any information with regard to Las Vegas Sands employees.
Adelson no stranger to controversy
While Adelson’s remarks on Iran have clearly inflamed some, Adelson has recently also managed to draw the ire of many from his own community, that of the casino and gambling world.
Adelson has been a voracious opponent of the spread of real money online poker and Internet casino games in the United States, having assembled his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling to lobby for a ban of such sites via an update to the 1961 Federal Wire Act.
Adelson, who is said to be the eleventh wealthiest person in the nation, is also working with his group to put in place restrictions to online betting at the state level.
In response to Adelson’s coalition, which has largely been ridiculed in the poker community for being hypocritical and spreading misinformation, last week it was announced that a pro-iGaming group has formed to directly counter Adelson’s message.
That group, called Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP), has the support of major gaming industry forces, including MGM and the American Gaming Association (AGA).
C4COP also has the backing of a couple of major Republican party figures, among them former U.S. Representative Mary Bono of California, the wife of the late singer Sonny Bono.
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