Cyber Attack Knocks off the Irish National Lottery WebsitePublished January 25, 2016 by Florin P
Hackers bring down the Irish National Lottery website for two hours.
A record-breaking jackpot was up for grabs at the Irish National Lottery when the website was targeted by hackers. They resorted to a DDoS attack to bring down the website as well as the machines that players were hoping to use to purchase tickets for the upcoming draw. The jackpot was revolving around €14 million and for 2 hours, players were unable to buy tickets or access the official lottery website, before service was finally restored.
A Busy Day Just Got Busier
The Irish National Lottery officials were ready for a busy day, since they expected a high number of purchasing players. There is usually an indissoluble link between the size of the jackpot and the number of players and this particular jackpot was the largest in the last 18 months.
The denial of service attack came as a shock and the incident is still under investigation, to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The attack started at 11 AM GMT and for two straight hours, players were unable to access the website or the ticket machines. Service was finally restored at 1:25 PM GMT and players had plenty of hours left to acquire the potentially lucky tickets for Wednesday’s draw.
A Silver Lining for Jackpot Hunters
The National Lottery gaming system was not affected and officials reassured customers that player data was at no point in danger. While lottery representatives were scrambling to determine the source of the attacks, the players were more interested in the outcome of the evening draw. A lucky player managed to hit the winning combination despite all this technical issues and was rewarded with a €13.8 million lottery jackpot. The winning numbers were 10, 12, 13, 19, 43, 45 and the player also predicted the bonus number to win the largest jackpot since mid-2014.
What Does the Future Hold?
The ability to take down national lottery websites via DDoS attacks could signal a distressing development in the world of online lottery specifically, and for the world of online security in a broader sense. It remains to be seen whether last week's attack will turn into a dangerous precedent.