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

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LIFARS is the global leader in Digital Forensics and Cyber Resiliency Services. Our experience spans two decades working on high profile events, often in concert with Law Enforcement Agencies around the world. Our proprietary methodology derives directly and indirectly from our experience working with and for U.S. Intelligence Agencies, Interpol, Europol, and NATO. We are solely dedicated to Cyber Resiliency and thus pay close attention to all aspects of our clients’ engagements experience while providing a strategic and integrated array of services to minimum risk and disruption while protecting your brand.

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