LV Sands Back Online After Hacking

It took longer than first expected to get multiple websites for the Las Vegas Sands Corp. up and running after a cyber-attack. The sites were down for about a week, and internal systems were compromised.

“Anti-WMD Team” still not identified

It took nearly a week to get the websites of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. back online following a cyber-attack. Sands websites at properties around the globe were affected in the attack, which began Monday, February 10.

The first sign that the sites were under attack came when the company’s email system crashed. Unidentified hackers who once referred to themselves as “the Anti-WMD team” disables the Sands’ corporate website as well as sites for casinos in Las Vegas, China, Singapore, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The sites were restored February 17, but not before the hackers published some employee data, including Social Security numbers and email addresses, and also made threatening comments to Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.

One alarming message said, “Damn A, don’t cut your throat with your tongue. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any condition, is a crime.” It was an apparent reference to Adelson’s controversial remarks last October that the United States should bomb Iran for its buildup of arms.

Since the hacking, a person using the name Zhao Anderson has taken responsibility for the attack and briefly posted a video about it on YouTube. The 11-minute video included a message saying, “Do you really think that only your mail server has been taken down?!! Like hell it has!!”

“We have now determined that the hackers reached at least some of the company’s internal drives in the U.S. containing some office productivity information made up largely of documents and spreadsheets,” said Sands spokesman Ron Reese. “We have seen the video and are continuing to investigate what, if any, customer or additional employee data may have been compromised as part of the hacking.”

The company is working with the FBI and U.S. Secret Service to investigate the attack.