Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson Target of Iran Hack

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Above all others, Sheldon Adelson is the most controversial man in the US gambling industry. Born in Israel, the American citizen has spent much of his life developing a sprawling land-based casino empire. For reference, his Las Vegas Sands Corporation generates $14.5 million in annual turnover. In rising to his lofty perch, Adelson has made many enemies along the way. Iran is the latest enemies to target Adelson.

Although occurring in February 2014, it has only recently come to light that Adelson’s Sands Bethlehem outpost in Pennsylvania was hit by a hacking attack from Iran. Director of national intelligence James Clapper made the revelation while he testified to Congress this March.

In explaining what happened, Clapper said that the computer screens flickered for a split-second before suddenly going blank. Various administrator passwords were stolen, but it was the slot machine department that was hit the hardest. Iran’s hackers then moved on to reach the company’s most important drives. The entire hack was recorded in a video lasting approximately 11 minutes.

No Many Stolen in Iran Casino Hack

Outside of the US, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) also owns casinos situated in the wealthy markets of Macau and Singapore. Nevertheless, Iran’s hackers had no intention of stealing any money. Instead, they wanted personal data plus any potentially valuable information that they could find.

Next to information, Iran was seeking to disrupt the business activities of LVS. To that end, the hackers succeeded for seven days, with LVS forced to shut its website while vital maintenance and security tasks were undertaken. In spite of the hacking issues, the Sands Bethlehem was able to continue providing access to customers who wished to play slot machines.

Back in November 2014, Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) was the victim of extreme hacking that continued well into December. Comparatively, Clapper said that the LVS breach was more notable than PSN, as it happened months before. While LVS was hacked by Iran, it was North Korea that was attributed with PSN. Clapper felt compelled to announce the LVS incident to highlight just how high the current risk of hacking is to major US businesses.

A Personal Attack on Sheldon Adelson

Despite leaving his home country many years ago, Adelson has remained devoted by donating millions of dollars to Israel on an annual basis. In demonstrating his support for Israel, he is extremely vocal in denouncing national enemies like Iran. As such, he made himself a target for Iran in last year’s hacking incident.

Iran considers Adelson a threat because of his political sway in the US and his vocal desire for action to be taken against them. The purpose of the attack was a show of power by Iran, highlighting that they can cause trouble for him without even stealing a single cent.

Most recently, Sheldon Adelson has drawn criticism for attempting to influence US gambling legislation to favour his own business interests. However, his alleged efforts have been fought off for now.

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