Online gambling is a pastime that has accelerated in popularity over the last few years. This is due to the global lockdowns imposed by COVID-19 and the convenience of being able to play wherever you are.
As a result, a rush of online casinos was launched. Some of these are scam sites that you should never trust. However, many of them—like those found on SlotSource.co.uk—are entirely legitimate and offer players a real chance to win.
Because of this influx of casino sites, millions of players worldwide are playing each day. However, not everyone wants to use the site for the joy and thrill of gambling, and many want to steal from their targeted site to hit the big win without the effort.
Due to these fraudsters and hackers, online casinos need to have the best possible security to keep those looking to steal out while allowing regular customers in. Because of this, the security behind online casinos is a complex and tricky business.
So, read on as we examine the security challenges these sites face and the safeguards they have in place to keep you and themselves safe.
Common Online Casino Security Threats
Online casinos must contend with many different and unique threats each day. However, some of these are more common than others and happen almost daily without fail. These threats include:
Easily the most common threat faced is DDOS attacks. DDOS (or Distributed Denial of Service) is when a series of computers set up by a hacker all log onto a site simultaneously. Due to the sudden and massively increased number of requests to access the webserver, the website will become slow, unresponsive, or go offline.
This, in turn, restricts new and returning customers’ access to the site—ultimately affecting their impression of the site and possibly turning them away from returning.
While there is no way a hacker can gain anything from an attack like this, it does serve the purpose of stopping others from accessing the site and dramatically affects the website’s reputation. As you can imagine, the loss of online players means a massive loss of revenue.
Another attack that has grown steadily is ransomware attacks. In fact, in 2017, even organisations such as the UK NHS (and many others) fell victim to these attacks.
In these attacks, hackers install malware via email, a download, or simply by hacking a singular mainframe connected to other PCs. This malware then spreads and locks all the files that it can access.
With all the files locked, the hacker then sends instructions on where the company or owners of the affected PCs can send payment. Once payment is received, the hackers commit to unlocking the affected files. Or at least, they say they will.
Because all web servers have multiple ports that accept and direct traffic, unsecured (or open) ports are an easy way for hackers to gain access. Due to this ease of access, hackers scan online casinos to attempt to find any open ports.
If the hackers find any, they then use these ports to access the central server database of the casino. This allows them to steal players’ details (e.g., their names, email addresses, and other information). They can also steal any unencrypted payment details linked to player accounts in severe cases.
This information is then sold to those seeking it or is used to defraud players of their money.
Security Methods Used by Online Casinos
Online casinos constantly must battle against hackers trying to access their servers or customer information. Thankfully, they use powerful technology to operate and, therefore, also employ strong security measures.
Just some of these measures include:
Standard Security (SSL, HTTPS, and TLS)
As a fundamental standard, online casinos should always ensure that they operate under the HTTPS protocol and with a valid SSL certificate. The SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate of a website guarantees that—provided a player is using the HTTPS protocol—all information transmitted between the player’s PC and the webserver is encrypted.
Because of this encryption, even if a hacker does manage to extract the data sent by the website or player’s PC, they won’t be able to decrypt it. The only way a hacker could achieve this is to have a unique decryption key.
TLS (or Transport Layer Security) is another standard security method usually used when making payments. This security, like SSL, ensures that all information is heavily encrypted when being transferred.
Another way to vigorously protect against hackers is by having solid and adaptable firewalls on the webserver. These firewalls can block specific people from accessing the server and can even be used to limit the number of connection requests from a particular region.
Reputable and Up-to-Date Software
While it may sound strange, regularly updating software with security patches is often an excellent way to secure against attacks. This is because the software developer usually releases these patches after finding a security loophole. The patch then works to remove this loophole or patch the hole in the security.
Because software often needs security updates, it is essential for online casinos to source reputable software developers that provide such services.
Penetration testing occurs when an online casino hires an external company to attempt to hack its website. This company then looks for any vulnerabilities in the current security and if it is possible to access any sensitive information.
Once the penetration testing is complete, the hired external company usually provides a recommendation on how to maximize the site’s security.
As the above examples show, security is not something that online casinos take lightly. To protect their interests and those of their treasured customers, they go above and beyond—thus staying ahead of the hackers and scammers who have them in their sights.