Breaking News – Poker Site Security Breach at Bet24

Bet24 Security BreachOnline sportsbook and poker site, Bet24, has just revealed that personal customer information was hacked from their site during a security breach in December 2009. The news comes after police informed Bet 24 that they had arrested individuals “who were in possession of unauthorised copies of personal customer information relating to various companies including BET24”.

According to a security message published on the home page of the Bet24 web site, the stolen information included customer names, addresses, email addresses, user account IDs, account passwords and encrypted customer payment card numbers. Bet24 also warned that the stolen information had been used to access clients´ Bet24 accounts, third party accounts and personal email accounts.

Why Did Bet24 Wait This Long?

This news potentially compromises poker players´ accounts other than those held at Bet24, where clients have used the same account IDs and passwords for multiple accounts. Even if the information which found its way into the hands of cyber-criminals has not yet been used by the perpetrators, what is to say that copies have not been made and distributed around the Internet?

Bet24 will no doubt come under a lot of stick for both the breach of security and the delay in advising its customers. The company acknowledged that they knew their system had been hacked in 2009, but were under the impression that no data had been removed. No mention of this issue was made to clients at the time of the security breach or after last year´s security review (which had been prompted by unauthorised activity on a number of accounts), which would have at least given clients an opportunity to protect third party accounts.

Advice to All Poker Players

In light of the Bet24 announcement and other high-profile security breaches (Sony Playstation for example) make sure that you change your account passwords frequently and protect yourself by using different passwords for different accounts. If you can use different payment methods for different accounts, so much the better, and never reveal more personal details than is absolutely necessary.

If Bet24 have just come clean after 18 months – which other poker websites have yet to reveal that their databases have been infiltrated?

The full text of the Bet 24 Security Message appears below:-

25 July  2011

For the attention of customers with BET24 accounts registered before 31 October 2009

Important Security Information – Please Read Carefully

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.

FOR CUSTOMERS WITH ACCOUNTS REGISTERED AS AT 28 APRIL 2007, the stolen information comprises:

  • a list of customer names, postal addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, BET24 account user names, BET24 account user ID numbers, BET24 account passwords and BET24 account balances, and, in some cases, telephone numbers and IP addresses
  • a second separate list of BET24 account user ID numbers, BET24 account balances and parameters, customer payment card expiry dates, encrypted customer payment card numbers and encoded customer payment card types

The encrypted payment card information has NOT to our knowledge been decrypted, and review by internet security specialists confirms that the level of encryption is very high. In addition, NO payment card security codes are stored on the BET24 database. 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. At the bottom of this letter, you will find the security advice and action points that we recommend you to follow immediately.

FOR CUSTOMERS WITH ACCOUNTS REGISTERED BETWEEN 28 APRIL 2007 & 31 OCTOBER 2009, the stolen information is more limited and comprises:

  • a list of BET24 account user ID numbers, BET24 account balances and parameters, customer payment card expiry dates, encrypted customer payment card numbers and encoded customer payment card types

This stolen information does NOT include any personal details or passwords and is NOT therefore sufficient to enable access to accounts. Furthermore, we are not aware of any instances of illegal access to these accounts. The encrypted payment card information has NOT to our knowledge been decrypted, and review by internet security specialists confirms that the level of encryption is very high. In addition, NO payment card security codes are stored on the BET24 database. At the bottom of this letter, you will find the general security advice that we advise all BET24 customers to follow.

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.

Our customers are our number one priority and the security of your personal information is of paramount importance to us. Please contact our customer service support team by email at support@bet24.com if you have any questions relating to the above.

Yours sincerely,
Thomas Petersen, Chief Executive Officer

 

RECOMMENDED SECURITY ACTION POINTS

FOR CUSTOMERS WITH ACCOUNTS REGISTERED AS AT 28 APRIL 2007:

  • 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
  • Please remain vigilant and regularly review your bank account and payment card statements
  • Please ensure that any requests for personal data or resetting of access codes and passwords that you have previously received, or receive in future, via email, phone and post are from trustworthy parties and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the service or account provider to which they relate

FOR CUSTOMERS WITH ACCOUNTS REGISTERED BETWEEN 28 APRIL 2007 & 31 OCTOBER 2009:

  • If you believe that your BET24 account has been compromised in any way, please contact us immediately by email at support@bet24.com
  • Please avoid using the same passwords for different services or accounts and please immediately reset any such passwords to be different for each service and account
  • Please regularly review your bank account and payment card statements
  • Please ensure that any requests for personal data or resetting of access codes and passwords that you receive via email, phone and post are from trustworthy parties and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the service or account provider to which they relate