New Jersey Casinos Face Bitcoin Ransom Threats

New Jersey-based online casinos were hit with distributed denial-of-service attacks and faced additional threats unless they paid a bitcoin ransom.

AccessTimeIconJul 8, 2015 at 10:17 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:02 a.m. UTC
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Four New Jersey-based online casinos were asked to pay a bitcoin ransom over the weekend, after being hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

According to the state’s Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), cited in a statement published by ABC News, the attacks took place in two stages. An initial DDoS attack was followed by threats of further and more severe attacks if the targeted websites did not complete bitcoin payments.

Agency director David Rebuck said no bitcoin ransom had been paid, but noted the attack "had the potential to not only negatively impact the targeted casinos but also all business in Atlantic City who share the same ISP provider".

The DGE did not identify which websites were targeted nor the amount requested in ransom by the perpetrators of the attacks.

Rebuck added that the DGE, the New Jersey State Police, state cybersecurity officials and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation took part in a coordinate mitigation effort that resulted in “no significant disruption to service”.

He noted:

“All involved remain on heightened alert but are relieved that the holiday weekend has passed without incident."

Wave of attacks

The attack timeline mirrors other attacks conducted by DD4BC, an entity that has been tied to DDoS attacks on bitcoin mining pools and web services in the in the past year and a half, ultimately prompting a warning from government cybersecurity watchdogs in May.

The DGE declined to offer further details or confirm whether DD4BC was involved, citing an ongoing investigation into the attacks.

Atlantic City image via Shutterstock

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