Bet24 Faces Worst-Case Scenario


Sensitive information on customers stolen?

Bet24.com has been undergoing a serious drama this week, facing a possible theft of sensitive and private financial information on customers.

The Malta-licensed company on this occasion issued a warning to its customers, advising that a breach took place back in December 2009 during which their sensitive data may have been exposed.

Why does this notice come so late, as much as 19 months after the breach occurred, has not been explained. However, the company tried to reassure players that it had taken other measures at the time of the incident.

The company CEO Thomas Petersen on this occasion stated: "We have been informed by police authorities that they have arrested third party individuals who were in possession of unauthorised copies of personal customer information relating to various companies including Bet24."

"The Bet24 customer information was stolen from Bet24 by means of illegal electronic access to our database, which is believed to have taken place in December 2009. We have no information to indicate any unauthorised access to our database or breach of our security systems since December 2009, and we have no reason to believe that accounts registered after 31 October 2009 are affected in any way," he added.

The stolen data involved customer names, addresses, email addresses, user account IDs, account passwords and encrypted payment card numbers. In regards to the ways the information has been used, Petersen specified: "The stolen information is so far known to have been used to access a limited number of customers' Bet24 accounts, third-party accounts and personal email accounts. A small number of customers have alerted us to unauthorised activity on their Bet24 accounts and we have fully reimbursed them for any financial loss incurred on their accounts."

It is still unclear how the hackers gained access to Bet24's database. The site only stated that it is continuing to work with police authorities in their investigation into the breach, and that it had carried out a security audit after the breach.

In its notice, the company asks all customers to monitor and report any suspicious activity on their their bank and online gaming accounts, as well as to avoid using the same password on more than one site. Customers who used a Bet24 password for their email account are encouraged to change log in information as a precaution. This warning was particularly addressed to players who registered a Bet24 account before October 31 2009.

The company also advised that "no payment card security codes are stored on the Bet24 database.

"We are working closely with the police authorities to establish how the information was stolen, how it has been used, and which customers are affected. We implemented a thorough security review in 2010, which included an audit by industry specialists and simulated hacker penetration tests, and we have further upgraded the security of our network.

"The Bet24 passwords for all customers who had registered accounts as at 28 April 2007 were reset during 2010. We continue to monitor our systems and customer transactions constantly, and to upgrade our systems regularly."

As far as the recommended security points for players who have an account registered as at April 28 2007, those were the following:

'•If you have ever used your Bet24 password for your email account, then please immediately change your email account password and then change all passwords that you use for any other accounts including your BET24 account

•If you have not used your Bet24 password for your email account but have used it for any other services or accounts, please immediately change the passwords for such services or accounts

•If you believe that your Bet24 account has been compromised in any way, please contact us immediately by email at support@bet24.com.'

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