October 10, 2017 by

DDoS Attack Takes Down UK National Lottery Website

The UK National Lottery’s website and its associated mobile applications were knocked offline by cybercriminals who targeted the platform with a DDoS attack.

The UK National Lottery has revealed that an outage it suffered on Saturday, September 30, was the result of a DDoS attack. A report by the Daily Mirror adds that the attack lasted 90 minutes on Saturday between 6 PM and 7:30 PM, at the time of peak demand.

A spokesman for the operator of the UK national lottery added:

Unfortunately, as experienced by many companies, The National Lottery website was subject to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) incident for around 90 minutes this evening (from around 6pm until 7.30pm)…This affected players trying to buy tickets from our website and via our App, although players could still buy tickets from one of our 46,000 retailers. We would like to apologise to players for the inconvenience caused in this case.

The attack has led to complaints from thousands of wannabe gamblers who were unable to play the National Lottery, potentially missing out on the chance to win millions.

A DDoS extortion group called Phantom Squad has since sent out ransom demands to companies all over the world with the threat of a DDoS attacks. It is still unknown if any of their threats are genuine, or indeed if they are connected to the UK Lottery at all.

As such, the motive for the DDoS attack remains unknown and the National Lottery has not revealed any blackmail threats. However, the likes of the UK National Lottery are ripe targets for DDoS attacks and should have systems in place to dispel attacks that disrupt services.

All businesses, regardless of size and type, would be wise to proactively consider what threat DDoS attackers might pose to their platforms and plan ahead to reduce the odds of them becoming the next target in a DDoS takedown.

Image credit: Pexels.

About the author

Image of Author

LIFARS is a digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm based in New York City. LIFARS is ranked as one of the top Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations companies in 2016 and as one of the top cybersecurity companies in the New York metropolitan area for 2015 on the Cybersecurity 500 – a directory of the hottest and most innovative companies to watch in the cybersecurity industry.

Related articles

DDoS Attacks Double with Corporate Data Under Threat

DDoS attacks are on the rise in 2017 with a third of all organizations facing at least one DDoS...

Read more arrow_forward

Lisa Bock on A New Twist on Ransomware - Internal DDoS

Lisa Bock is an associate professor of information technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology...

Read more arrow_forward

Qatar-based Al Jazeera Undergoing ‘Continual’ DDoS Attacks

Doha-based media giant Al Jazeera has revealed it is the victim of “systematic and continual”...

Read more arrow_forward