• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 1:18am
BusinessCompanies
GAMBLING

Las Vegas Sands casino customer data stolen by hackers, company says

Las Vegas Sands on Friday said its computer systems in the US had been hacked and information about clients, including credit card and personal data, had been stolen

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 5:35pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 5:35pm

Computer hackers stole the personal information of tens of thousands of Las Vegas Sands customers during a data breach earlier this month, the casino company said on Friday.

The company said in a regulatory filing that information about some patrons at its Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, hotel-casino was compromised during the February 10 attack. Spokesman Ron Reese said the number of customers affected was in the mid-five figure range, as far as the company could tell so far.

Examples of the kinds of legally protected data that were stolen include Social Security and driver’s license numbers. An informational website Sands has set up warns that credit card information and bank account information may also have been stolen. The company is providing credit monitoring and identity theft protection to customers affected by the hacking.

Reese didn’t say whether credit card information was taken.

A mailing database similar to something a direct marketing firm would use was also stolen, Sands said.

Sands said it was still working to determine whether customer information from other properties was breached, a process made more time-consuming by the destruction the hackers wrought. The company runs the Italian-themed Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, and several hotel-casinos in China and Singapore.

In its statement, Sands noted that the number of patron accounts that were compromised make up fewer than 1 per cent of all visitors to the Bethlehem casino since its 2009 opening. It has set up a website and toll-free phone number for concerned customers.

The Las Vegas-based company pulled down its corporate and individual hotel websites on February 11 after hackers defaced them with images condemning comments Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson had made about using nuclear weapons on Iran. The hackers also posted Social Security numbers for Sands’ Bethlehem employees.

It took the company nearly a week to get the sites back up. The hacking also knocked down internal systems, and left corporate employees without access to their computers and e-mail accounts for days.

Last week, an anonymous video surfaced that appeared to catalogue additional information stolen during the hacking, including administrator passwords for slot machine systems and player information at the Bethlehem casino.

The FBI and Secret Service have been investigating the cyberattack.

Sands, which is the world’s largest casino company in terms of revenue and market value, also owns the world’s largest casino in China’s gambling enclave of Macau. The company’s net income was US$2.31 billion last year.

In an annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Sands said the attack may have destroyed some company data. The filing said Sands was unable to estimate the loss that might result from the hacking, if any.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands rose 12 cents to close at US$85.25 on Friday before the announcement, then fell 24 cents in after-hours trading.

 

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