Whenever anyone talks about the perils of online gambling, they are never speaking of the gambling sites themselves being in peril. In fact, these sites are usually regarded as the cause of any dangers that might befall the players at the site. Either their security gets hacked and the player’s financial information, identity and money are stolen, or problem gamblers are pushed into deeper and deeper trouble. Yet very often, on big sport betting days especially, these websites are indeed put under attack.
In the same way that the criminal element has always made its way into real-world gambling, it makes its presence known in online casinos too. Even the methods are similar, being web-based versions of protection rackets. As big paydays approach, like the Super Bowl weekend or other major betting events, an internet gambling website receives a message warning that it will be subjected to a Distributed Denial of Service attack. This is when so many hits are made on a site that their ISP or server can’t handle the volume, and the entire site goes down. But the attackers say that if the site pays them perhaps forty thousand dollars, the attack won’t happen.
Since the profits of online gambling sites depend on gamblers gaining access to place bets, it would be disastrous for the site to crash. The warning message often claims that the site’s own weak security makes the attack possible. This may be true, or their security may be enough to handle an attack on the crucial weekend. If the site goes down, it could cost more than forty thousand dollars for people to bring it back up quickly enough. Or they could cross their fingers and hope, only to have it crash and have to pay the ransom at the last minute so the online sports betting can continue.
So a lot of the online gambling sites find themselves gambling too, as they approach a big weekend or a big sporting event. Do they not respond to the ransom demand and trust that their customers will be able to do their sport betting as required on the big day, hoping against hope that their security will be able to withstand an attack? Or do they give in so they can be sure, even if it costs them dearly? In the midst of the gambling world online, this is the sort of gamble these websites never wanted to get involved in.
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