Las Vegas Sands Corp, owner of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, has been revealed to be covering up a massive cyber attack against its computer systems in the United States. Details reveal that Iranian hacktivists were responsible and were acting in retaliation against Sands owner Sheldon Adelson’s comments about dropping nuclear weapons on Iran.
Adelson had made a comment in late 2013 where he expressed his idea for stopping Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme, which was mainly dropping a weapon of mass destruction on the country if it persisted on its current path. The statement was not taken lightly by Iran’s leadership who made their own retort.
The cyber attack appears to have begun in January 2014, where hackers began probing the Sands network for vulnerabilities and trying to brute force their way into the system. After gaining access to the central systems, the hackers rolled out malware that would wipe hard disks and write over them. Terabytes of employee and business data was also stolen in the attack.
Fortunately for the company, the hackers did not immediately cripple the system and visitors to the casinos were unaware of the damage being caused. Overseas holdings in China and Singapore were also untouched. The Sands chose to cover up the attack and play down the amount of damage done.
It is unknown if the hackers behind the attack are government sponsored, but it appears that they were working on their own and have no connection to any governments. The scale of cyber attacks has been on the rise in 2014, with the other massive hack of Sony Pictures and the revelation that the Sands was also covering up its own problems. At this rate, 2015 will be a year for shoring up cyber security of suffer more breaches of these kinds.