Cyberattacks force SBTech to shut down.

  • SBTech, an English online gambling firm, was forced to shut down its websites for maintenance after a cyberattack.
  • SBTech offers web services to companies in six different U.S. states.
  • DraftKings recently acquired SBTech, which might have provided the motivation behind this attack.
  • The timetable for a full relaunch is unknown, as SBTech will need to thoroughly scrub its systems to eliminate all traces of the ransomware used, then gain approval from regulatory bodies.

LONDON, England – SBTech, an online gambling tech company based in London, was forced to shut down many of its websites earlier this week in response to a cyberattack. SBTech is notably partnered with casinos in six different American states.

The attack reportedly did not manage to capture any consumer data, and the websites were taken down for maintenance as SBTech tries to address the threat.

Some of the most notable affected websites include the Golden Nugget and Resorts sportsbooks, the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard app, and BetAmerica’s online casino. While there is no active threat to consumer security while the websites are down, there is also no firm timetable for full recovery.

The timing of the attack could be significant, as SBTech was acquired by US-based daily fantasy and sportsbook company DraftKings. DraftKings is scheduled to go public next month.

It is unclear what plans, if any, SBTech has for compensating its partners during the downtime. With most sports currently shut down to deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak, sports betting revenues were already likely to be severely hindered during March and April.

The most likely form of compensation will come in the form of service credits or reductions in contract obligations for SBTech partners.

SBTech’s efforts to quell the attack will need to be examined and approved by regulators prior to a full relaunch of the company’s sites.

Details Of The Attack

SBTech has indicated that its systems were targeted by a ransomware attack. During a ransomware attack, a hacker usually hides malware in a legitimate-looking file—a technique commonly referred to as a Trojan horse.

Once this file is downloaded by a computer with access to sensitive data, the ransomware then encrypts key data, and the hacker then demands that the affected party pay a ransom for the decryption key. The severity of ransomware can vary by attack, but in some cases, brute force decryption can take years.

A firm of SBTech’s size has many back-up servers and other built-in redundancies to protect against security threats like this, but it will still take time to comb through all the company’s servers to ensure that no traces of the malware remain.

Which States Are Affected?

Arkansas has been affected because SBTech is in charge of the sports betting operations at Oaklawn racing Casino Resort. SBTech only operates its land-based sportsbook which has been closed anyway due to COVID-19 concerns.

Indiana has a live online and statewide BetAmerica platform that cannot be used because BetAmerica is partnered with SBTech. Other options are still available in Indiana, which provides sports bettors in the state with some bit of relief.

Mississippi has also been affected at multiple land-based sportsbooks. The state is home to over 20 land-based sportsbooks but they are also closed, which eases the possible revenue lost on SBTech.

In New Jersey, the Golden Nugget online casino is one of the most recognized online gambling options in the state. Unlike Mississippi, SBTech could stand to lose a hefty amount of profits while their sites remain under maintenance.

Oregon online sports betting may be hit the hardest. The state only has one lottery owned online sports betting platform known as ‘Score Board’. SBTech is the engine that runs that platform which leaves online sports bettors in Oregon in the dark for now.

Only one Pennsylvania online sportsbook has been affected and that would be the BetAmerica platform that is run through Presque Isle Downs. This is only one of seven online platforms that the state offers which means SBTech and BetAmerica could lose a loyal following after having an indefinite Hiatus.

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