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DDoS threats and attacks!

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by BETAT, Apr 7, 2015.

    Apr 7, 2015
  1. BETAT

    BETAT Online Gaming Affiliate Manager

    Occupation:
    Casino Rep
    Location:
    counting down until spring
    Hi everyone,

    This thread is posted to both CM's of operators out there as well as the community to cover some things that have been happening on Slotty Vegas and BETAT recently.

    As of last week, we have received the following email:


    I'll follow up with our commentary in the next post.
     
    36 people like this.
  2. Apr 7, 2015
  3. Valhalla

    Valhalla The Professional MM

    Occupation:
    Poker Player
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    For the layman, what is a DDOS attack and how does it affect the casinos?
     
  4. Apr 7, 2015
  5. BETAT

    BETAT Online Gaming Affiliate Manager

    Occupation:
    Casino Rep
    Location:
    counting down until spring
    What you can Expect

    The threats originated for the Easter Holidays and indeed, come Monday we were hit with 45 Gbps of DDoS bandwidth.

    This attack was vicious, massive and wide spread and hit our entire range of sub-nets, even our CDN has been compromised (Content Delivery Network) as well as our AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service).

    To say that 45Gbps (45 Gigabits per second) of bandwidth is a lot is a gross understatement. These hackers have massive capacity and are highly organised. Luckily, we are well equipped to handle these kinds of attacked and while nothing of this magnitude has been recorded on both our front, nor on the service providers experience, we are highly confident that by end of the week we will have the situation under full control.

    That said, next 5-7 days will be rough and our customers may experience times of inconsistent performance. We are preparing an email to our customer base on this as i write this, to inform them of our intent.

    Message to other operators out there: the DD4B team seems to have been doing this since late 2014 and started with illegal bit coin exchanges and illegal gaming businesses. They have now moved onto legitimate businesses. I strongly suggest that you speak to your individual CTO's and re-visit your DDoS mitigation services and the resiliency of your network. The hacking group claims that they have 400-500 Gbps sustained DDosS capacity.

    If proven true, there is very little any system setup can do to thwart that size of an sustained attack, baring a complete network segregation into multiple DNS points which is highly expensive and difficult to maintain. If you have similar recent experiences, kindly PM me.

    Now, as for the customers:

    This is not a hack. This means that your information is not exposed in any way for two very important reasons:

    1. Nature of a DDoS attack (i'll explain what ddos is in the next post) and
    2. Our systems are built in a way that segregate front end environments from any back end applications and databases. The data is never open to the public in any way.

    The most that can ever happen when playing on our sites, is that in case of an attack and/or a hack, website pages are exposed. The data structure is built on an internal network and bets communicate over an encrypted "backbone" channel - effectively meaning that whenever there is a web -level attack, the channel is shut down stopping all play and all communication. This is the reason you experience a termination of service rather than a degradation. It carries a greater impact on revenue stream, but the service security is maintained.

    Final DDoS explanation to follow.
     
    20 people like this.
  6. Apr 7, 2015
  7. Valhalla

    Valhalla The Professional MM

    Occupation:
    Poker Player
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Waiting for this because I'm baffled.
     
  8. Apr 7, 2015
  9. PaaskeDenmark

    PaaskeDenmark Always think positive CAG PABnoaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Clerk with shipping discounts worldwide
    Location:
    UnKnown
    Not trying to take anything from BetAt here but just quick explanation:

    In computing, a denial-of-service (DoS) or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. A DoS attack generally consists of efforts to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.

    So basically they send massive attack which will bring the host(website) in loss of business because of downtime. The same which happened for Neteller.
     
    3 people like this.
  10. Apr 7, 2015
  11. BETAT

    BETAT Online Gaming Affiliate Manager

    Occupation:
    Casino Rep
    Location:
    counting down until spring
    DDoS - What is it, and how does it effect you?

    DDos or DoS stands for

    "Denial of Service", or "Distributed Denial of Service".

    In the simplest of terms - A DDoS attack uses many computers distributed across the Internet in an attempt to consume available resources on the target.

    How does it influence the service?

    Imagine logging onto a site. That site hosts pages and communicates with other elements. That communication eats up bandwidth that we pay for to our service providers. Very similarly how you, the user, eat up bandwidth by streaming YouTube and browsing the net with your ISP (the ones that have bandwidth limitations eat it up, the ones that dont never care :) ).

    ALL sites, not just gaming sites - but all sites on the whole of internet, CM included, and every other site online, pays for their servers and pays for the bandwidth in accordance to their demands. Based on the traffic a site has, a site would need more, or less bandwidth accordingly. This is considered part of our e-commerce business cost.

    Now, to expalin the impact of a DDoS, first we need to explain a difference between a bit, and a byte. In computer terms, one byte consists of 8 bits. Similarly to how one unit of currency consists of one hundred cents.

    Bandwidth is measured in megaBITS or gigaBITS; while file size on your computer is measured in megaBYTES, or gigaBYTES. so 1 BYTE = 8 BITS; One MegaByte = 8 MegaBits.

    as a result 1 MegaByte (1MB - capital B) = 8 MegaBits (8Mb - small b)

    For example: if CasinoMesiter homepage is 1MB (Megabyte) in "weight" (meaning all pics and pages and texts have a size of one megabyte); and if CM servers have a bandwidth float of 8Mbps (Megabits per second)

    then that would mean that CM can handle ONE user loading the homepage per second. Now, pages are rarely that large and sites are able to sustain many hundreds of users calling their pages per second, or as we call it "concurrent users" (users logged on at the same time).

    So each one of you, users, takes a small part of our "same-time" capacity. When we reach larger volumes of traffic, our revenue increases, so we buy more bandwidth. I hope that is clear so far.

    What DDoS attack does, is create bots (robots) - in fact, it creates many thousands and millions of bots and sends immeasurable amounts of fake traffic to websites, creating massive resource usage. it looks like we have thousands of users, but we do not, we have little "spiders" crawling up and down our pages creating havoc and eating up resource. These attacks create so many calls and simultaneous requests, that the servers and the bandwidth simply give out under the weight.

    When you hear about "Anonymous" bringing the department of justice site offline - that's basically what happens. The sites are unable to handle the load being pushed onto them.

    There is no other goal with a DDoS attack but to bring a site offline and make a business unable to operate. There are no other benefits than to blackmail the business to "pay up, or else"

    There are ways to protect against this, they are both highly expensive and complex - and for most attacks, you, the end user, never feel it had occurred. This particular attack is incredibly powerful, which is the reason i am writing this public post and calling on any operator who has experienced a similar threat to reach out to me.

    This by no means implies that the service remains unprotected. This simply means that we have to spend a pretty large sum of monies to increase our resiliency barriers. I'm highly surprised with recent events, and so are my service providers who have admitted these attacks have been the "internal talk of town" in the last 6 months and belong to a highly organised group stemming from Eastern Europe. This information however, remains unconfirmed.

    So far the situation has been mitigated. I'll keep you posed on further developments.

    Best,

    Igor
     
    23 people like this.
  12. Apr 7, 2015
  13. hedgehok

    hedgehok Meister Member mm3

    Occupation:
    self-employed
    Location:
    Germany
    This is immensely worrying and I can not do more then wish you all the best with your efforts to avert this vicious crime.
    You are my favourite casino!
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Apr 7, 2015
  15. BETAT

    BETAT Online Gaming Affiliate Manager

    Occupation:
    Casino Rep
    Location:
    counting down until spring
    Nothing to worry about!

    Not to worry. I trust my team, top to bottom, and they are aces. Every last one of them. This attack is surprisingly large, although we've had many in the past you guys never felt, but just the same - not impossible to mitigate, just costly (so less bonuses this month! :p)

    Joking aside, we're on it 24/7 and while we may have a hit an miss going forward a plan of action is in place and many, many people are involved in resolving this issues both promptly and efficiently.

    Igor
     
    5 people like this.
  16. Apr 7, 2015
  17. ugaboga

    ugaboga Casino Addict

    Occupation:
    Information Technology, Day Trader
    Location:
    Australia
    So they want about 2.5k? Seems like a rather low ransom figure. How often do corporates actually pay them out?

    I might have missed it but where are the origins of these attacks? IMO, they're very hard to permanently stop. Banks who spend hundreds of millions on network security are often unable to stop them from happening.

    Good luck though - this is the problem with anonymous payment methods like bitcoin, it's used by hackers for ransom purposes.
     
  18. Apr 7, 2015
  19. Jory

    Jory Guest

    I was unable to connect to BETAT or slottyvegas on the first attempt, but a few refreshes and the site loaded and appears to perform adequately once connected.

    I think sending out an email to all customers is a good idea. I'm sure many won't fully understand , but they will appreciate the honesty and save them the bother of trying to fix the problem themselves by deleting their cookies...

    Hopefully you get it under control soon. Even neteller with all their millions struggled to find a quick soultion. I just hope these kind of attacks don't become more frequent and people are wise enough to never pay them off.
     
  20. Apr 7, 2015
  21. BETAT

    BETAT Online Gaming Affiliate Manager

    Occupation:
    Casino Rep
    Location:
    counting down until spring
    There's no way we're paying. When did you ever hear of a ransom ACTUALLY being requested once?

    Nah, the 2.5K is the bait. the service we need to buy and set up is literally 20 times the amount requested, annually, and when i tell you i would gladly pay twice that rather than give a penny for this crock of horse**** being peddled about, believe i mean it.
     
    19 people like this.
  22. Apr 7, 2015
  23. thebigs

    thebigs Senior Member

    Occupation:
    part time argos slave lol
    Location:
    roscommon ireland
    Ok Mr Betat if you do not pay my ransom of 17 euro and 22 cents i will come over to your offices and pass wind so all your staff will leave the office for a week until it was safe.
    Buying gas masks for your staff would work out too expensive.
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. Apr 7, 2015
  25. Jory

    Jory Guest

    I'm just thinking back to Christmas when Kim Dotcom paid off Lizard Squad who had brought the Xbox and Playstaion servers offline. It gave a lot of publicity to these kind of attacks and they have become a lot more frequent since.
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Apr 7, 2015
  27. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Another good reason to keep our home computers firewalled and clean of all malware as botnets often include thousands/millions of infected home computers.

    I hope the @ssholes can be stopped and eventually ferreted out. Good luck to you Betat!
     
    4 people like this.
  28. Apr 7, 2015
  29. Chipkin9

    Chipkin9 I'm not a Senior

    Occupation:
    Between Jobs
    Location:
    Tyrone, Ireland
    That's the right attitude to take.

    If you pay these scumbags off, it only encourages them to do it again at another Casino, or whatever other online business tickles their fancy.

    Nice to see you taking a stand against these criminals :thumbsup:
     
  30. Apr 7, 2015
  31. pmutts

    pmutts Senior Member PABnonaccred

    Occupation:
    Hotel Sales
    Location:
    North Texas
    Cyber Crime the largest threat to life as we know it IMO

    Thank you for sharing this information with us BETAT. This is one example of countless crimes carried out daily and it is nearly impossible to find and catch the perpetrators. So they bring down an online gaming operator for a few hours or a few days. Who in the hell will care except for the owners and the players.

    For a comprehensive understanding of what a DDOS Attack is and how it is done please see the following link:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    Because the potential financial gain is so great and the risk of being caught--let alone prosecuted is minuscule. Additionally, the assholes (to put it nicely) get off on what they are doing in more than just a monetary way.

    In order to keep them from unwittingly using YOUR computer as one of the thousands used in their attack we MUST be vigilant. Keep all security updates current in Windows or your operating system. Keep ALL the software programs updated at all times. Be especially careful about running JAVA because it is never truly secure. Keep a first rate Anti-Virus program with the most current definitions. Never EVER open a file from an unknown source. Finally, never used pirated software. The risk simply is not worth it.

    DDOS Attacks are relative "child's play" in the world of Cyber Crime. Cyber Crime is a direct treat to all of us. A DDOS Attack cannot be carried out unless the perps have enough machines under their control in which to do so. This is one we can all prevent.
     
    4 people like this.
  32. Apr 7, 2015
  33. ugaboga

    ugaboga Casino Addict

    Occupation:
    Information Technology, Day Trader
    Location:
    Australia
    Kim Dotcom gave them vouchers to his website. Maybe BETAT could give them free $10 ND chips :D
     
  34. Apr 7, 2015
  35. chayton

    chayton aka LooHoo CAG PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Freelance Designer
    Location:
    Edmonton Canada
    BetAt isn't the first to be hit - this has happened to other casinos online. Some actually did pay because it was cheaper to pay than to lose income. But I agree with Igor, I certainly wouldn't pay them. :mad: I don't know anything about bitcoin, if they're asking to be 'paid' in that currency must mean that it's untraceable right? If that's the case I'm surprised the DOJ or the Feds aren't all over it like the Liberty Reserve thing from last year. Untraceable money screams of washing the proceeds of crime. To me, at least.
     
    1 person likes this.
  36. Apr 7, 2015
  37. KasinoKing

    KasinoKing WebMeister & Slotaholic.. CAG MM PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    House-Husband and Casino Advisor
    Location:
    Bexhill on sea, England
    I always knew BitCoin was a VERY bad idea. Now you have proof, if it were ever needed.
    Totally anonymity = perfect for criminals... :(

    KK
     
    2 people like this.
  38. Apr 7, 2015
  39. conker

    conker Senior Member CAG MM webmeister

    Occupation:
    Marketer
    Location:
    UK
    Hi Igor, thanks for sharing your experiences, I admire your resilliance to not roll over and payout the ransom whatever the cost.

    Can I ask where you report something like this? I am assuming this is the kind of thing that Interpol have to get involved with. No doubt the perpetrators are based in some far off land where laws are hazy at best, so it requires a bit of a collaborative effort to bring the criminals to justice.

    I believe CM was hit by a DDOS attack a few years ago. Not a nice thing to go through :(
     
    1 person likes this.

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