Wednesday, November 23, 2011 : DDoS ATTACKS CRIPPLE ONLINE CASINO SITES
Accusations and denials fly as TopGame servers are overwhelmed
Some online casinos using TopGame software have been crippled for much of this week following a sustained DDoS attack on the software provider’s servers, according to company spokesmen posting on internet gambling message boards Tuesday night.
The disruption caused bitter accusations, denials and predictably speculation on several major message boards, including the GPWA forum and the Casinomeister information portal as TopGame representatives accused affiliate management company Affactive of being behind the attack, and Affactive denied the allegation, saying that it had TopGame and RTG casinos in its stable that had also been attacked.
A TopGame spokesman identifying himself only as "Scott" started the bitter exchange with posts that alleged:
"My name is Scott and I am an online rep for Topgame Technology. I would like to post this official statement from Topgame management regarding the recent attack:
"Starting on November 16th and still ongoing, Topgame has been under a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service Attack). The attack targeted one of our Licensees, and quite quickly after shifted towards Topgame as further attempt to damage the Licensee. We are still experiencing the attack at this moment and are continuously working on stabilizing the system. The attack does not affect all Licensees equally.
"Following intensive communication with the attackers we came to realize that they were trying to dictate, to us and our licensees, operational terms and conditions. This seems to be a regular business practice for them. Rest assured, Topgame does NOT negotiate with criminals. We are working with the best anti-cybercrime companies in order to prevent any additional DDoS attacks or other crimes against our systems.
"To our surprise, recent investigation has revealed that the attacker does not only own and manage several online casinos and a fairly known affiliate program, but has also recently launched his own gaming software.
"Based on this information, we consider this no less than unlawful attempt to physically destroy whoever he considers ‘in his way'. The names and all personal info of the attackers are at our possession and we will report the people involved to the higher authorities.
"We can state with 100% certainty that we'd rather be under attack than negotiate with them. We are fighting back to protect our systems and Licensees as well as anyone else who may be a victim of these illegal actions.
"It is important to bear in mind that once this happens to one Licensee today, tomorrow it will easily be done to another, to a site owner, or an affiliate like you."
TopGame licensee Rome Casino followed this with confirmation, naming the perpetrators of the attack as the Winpalace/Affactive group, and revealing that strenuous efforts had been devoted to fighting the attack off, but that it was still ongoing and causing problems.
In neither statement was any concrete proof adduced to prove that Affactive was behind the attacks.
"The DDOS attack was not just to our casinos and servers, but has been to the entire Topgame network, and all Topgame brands have suffered the same attack," a Rome Casino spokesman posted.
Affactive spokesman DanielG then entered the fray, posting:
"Our team is absolutely disgusted at these public comments and accusations stated above accusing us of having any involvement in the Top Gaming software malfunctions. These false postings are totally unacceptable and demeaning to our well-regarded organization.
"Affactive has been in existence for many years and has built a reputable and trustworthy partnership with our clients. We have always promoted well-respected casino brands for our affiliates to advertise since our establishment and going forward in the future. We have always made a conscious effort in making sure our clients obtain profitable results and we would never compromise our partnership efforts.
"This is nothing but lies derived from our competitors seeking attention. We demand that you remove these false accusations immediately!"
In his latest post Tuesday night, DanielG updated readers, revealing that "our RTG brands have been under DDOS attack for the past few hours."
Affactive.com Affiliate Program handles operations like CasinoTitan.com, GoldenCherry.com, Mayflowercasino.com, SlotsJungle.com and Winpalace.com.
The ongoing row poses a number of questions that remain unanswered:
* There has been no mention of police reportage or legal injunction by either side.
* Affactive has an operation that uses TopGame software, yet no mention of whether this has been impacted has been made.
* There has been no confirmation from RTG that its Affactive casinos have also been hit as claimed by DanielG
* Most importantly, no hard evidence supporting the TopGame accusations against Affactive has yet been produced
* IP spoofing and other concealment technology can be deployed by "bot armies for hire" criminals, an important consideration before allocating blame
Intepol and various European police forces have combined to act against this sort of criminality in the past and one has to wonder whether TopGame has reported the matter to their local police.
When we went to press early Wednesday the argument still raged.