Those who have played at the Skagit Valley Casino Resort should be wary, as there has been a reported case of casino data theft resulting in the potential distribution of their details to third parties, after the data was literally stolen on a computer that held all of the information and was not secured or encrypted in any way.
The owners of the casino say that this is a rare case. It was the slot machine games manufacturers Bally Technologies who let the ball drop, after one of their software engineers was given the data in order to test it with new technology. He brought the information back to his home office, removing it from the computer program in which it is normally encrypted in order to do so. However, in late October the engineer’s Las Vegas apartment was broken into, and the computer holding the data was stolen along with jewellery and televisions. The casino did not learn of the theft until the end of November, and they promptly sent out letters to those who may have been affected.
“Even though we haven’t had any indication that there’s been any kind of problem or breech, we thought we had better alert some of our customers,” said Harry Chesnin, the general counsel for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, who own the casino resort. “We’re always mindful of security issues. Quite frankly, we have to rely on Bally’s because they have the technology and it was a lapse on their part. I’m fairly sure they learned their lesson as well.”
The suggestion is that the thieves were simply opportunists looking for goods that they could sell on rather than launching a direct attack in search of the information, and if this is the case then there should be little risk as the computers would have had their hard drives wiped before being sold on. Failing to do so could allow police to easily trace the machines back to their theft, which is something that this kind of thief is always wary of and will not want to risk.