Secret Service Joins Las Vegas Sands Hacking Investigation
According to an article that appeared Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, last week’s hack attack that brought down the web operations of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation is now being investigated by the United States Secret Service.
The hack attack occurred on Monday, and by Tuesday the Sands Corporation was forced to pull down its public-facing company web sites, replacing them with a placeholder web site advising visitors that the pages were undergoing “maintenance” and offering contact information for its properties, among them its Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, the Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as its Macau casino properties.
Attack hobbled employee operations and computer systems
The attack was said to be motivated by the pro-Israel stance of the chairman of the company, 80 year old Sheldon Adelson.
Adelson, who in addition to being a vocal supporter of Israel, is also a major GOP contributor. He is said to have given some $100 million to Republican causes and candidates in 2012.
Last fall, Adelson made headlines when he remarked that the United States ought to employ nuclear weapons against Iran.
The person or persons responsible for Monday’s cyber attack posted a map of Sands properties that showed them in flames, said the Review-Journal. The paper reported that the hackers had christened themselves the “Anti WMD Team.”
Differing reports as to customer data security
On Friday the head of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, A.G. Burnett, told the media that he had no additional information to disclose to the public. The Gaming Control Board is investigating the matter, as is the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
There has been some conflicting information as to the scope of the security breach. Some reports in the late part of the week indicated that no financial information belonging to patrons had been accessed by the hackers, while Burnett commented on Friday that he was unsure if such data had been obtained by the culprits.
It is known that at least some employee information had been compromised, with the hackers posting some personal data belonging to employees of the Sands Bethlehem on the Internet.
Days after Monday’s attack, the Sands Corporation and its staff were still grappling with the aftermath. At the end of the week, Sands employees were said to still be without access to their company email accounts and at least some work computers remained unusable.
In releasing a statement in response to the hack attack, company spokesperson Ron Reese was forced to put out his emailed comments via his personal email.
“The company continues to assist local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation into the hacking activity,” Reese said in that statement.
We will be continuing to monitor this story as it unfolds. Be sure to check back here for updates.
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