Wrest Point and Country Club Casinos In Tasmania Suffers Ransomware Attack
The Federal Group has a monopoly on the gaming industry in Tasmania, Australia. The casino operator makes most of its money from slot machines which are referred to as pokies down under.
The Federal Group confirmed that it experienced a cyber-attack on April 13 at their Wrest Point and Country Club. The cyber-attack shutdown their hotel system as well as all of their pokie machines. Casino staff were also aware of the attack as a number of them admitted to seeing a ransom message displaying on their screen.
The Federal Group confirmed that it had suspended operations for two of its casinos for a period of 10 days as it looks to sort out the issue. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has also been officially been informed of the attack which is said to be a Ransomware attack.
Federal Group executive director Daniel Hanna said that attack was contained because their staff were quick to react and take action. Hanna did not confirm when the hotel booking systems and pokie machines at the Country Club, Wrest Point, Henry Jones Art Hotel, MACq 01 and Saffire Freycinet would be able to resume.
Hanna did confirm that the Federal Group and all of its casinos fully complied with the protocols they were meant to follow during such an incident. The Federal Group also confirmed that they had launched an investigation into the cyber-attack and had also enlisted the services of external experts who will also look into the ransomware attack.
What Is A Ransomware Attack?
A Ransomware attack is when cyber criminals infiltrate the IT system of an organization and encrypt all of their files. They then ask for a ransom for the files to be restored and the ransom is usually demanded in the form of cryptocurrencies – mostly bitcoin. The hackers often threaten the company to pay the ransom quickly or they would take confidential information and publish it on the internet.
Hanna did not address questions as to whether financial details such as credit card info of their customers had been compromised. Former IT employees of the Federal Group claim that historical financial data stored on the hotel booking system could be compromised.
However, Hanna told media to not accept information from union representatives or third parties about financial data being compromised as they cannot provide accurate info on the matter.