FBI Investigating Hacking of Sands Official Websites

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently investigating the hacking of websites belonging to Las Vegas Sands, a major casino gaming company owned by Sheldon Adelson.

On Wednesday, the official website of Las Vegas Sands as well as the websites of its Venetian Casino and Palazzo Casino, both land-based casinos in Las Vegas, displayed a notice informing visitors that they have been closed down for maintenance. The message displayed phone number of casino properties belonging to Las Vegas Sands, but not email addresses as the hackers had destroyed the emailing system. Customers have been instructed to use third-party sites to make reservations.

Ron Reese, a spokesman for Las Vegas Sands, refused to say if the company knows of any stolen credit card records. He said: “While we have been able to confirm that certain core operating systems were not impacted by the hacking, the company remains focused on working through a step-by-step process to ascertain what, if any, additional systems may have been impacted.”

Jenny Shearer, a spokeswoman for the FBI, said that the Secret Service and the FBI are currently investigating the case. One of the duties of the Secret Service is to protect the financial systems of the country. Another body is also investigating the hacking—the Nevada State Gaming Control Board.

Las Vegas Sands Corps operates the world’s biggest casino, which is located in Macau. The company also owns several hotel casino properties in Pennsylvania, Singapore, and Bethlehem.

On Monday morning, the company’s emailing system was destroyed, indicating that its security system had been breached. Within 24 hours, the hackers had taken over all the official websites of the company. They had posted collages of maps depicting Sands casino properties on fire, a photo of Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp, with Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, and a message that condemned nuclear war. The hackers, who called themselves the “Anti WMD Team,” also posted the social security numbers of Sands employees.

Adelson, a formidable personality and the 11th richest man in America, attracted a lot of attention when he openly expressed support for Israel. He also proposed that the US should launch a nuclear attack on Iran because this country only understands strength. He also suggested that the US must negotiate its nuclear program by beginning a nuclear attack on the desert of Iran and should threaten that it will attack Tehran next.

The hackers attacked at 3:00 p.m. ET, and the company closed down its affected websites at 3:45 p.m.

According to a Morning Call report, Las Vegas Sands Corp has employed around 50,000 people worldwide, but nobody knows exactly how much of employee information the hackers have obtained. Joshua Cesanek, a Sands employee in Bethlehem, said: “It’s freaking me out. I can monitor my bank account and credit cards, but how do I monitor my social security number? Am I going to have to worry about this for years?”

Reese has stated to The Associated Press that the company is currently working with the FBI.

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