Bad news for thousands of online gamblers on Curacao: their personal information as well as details about 108 million bets have been exposed because of a data leak. What has happened exactly?
Consumer information leaked in Curacao
The shocking discovery was done by Justin Paine, a security researcher. ZDNet reported the news, which has become quite a scandal. Paine stumbled on the server, which was not protected by a password. So despite the fact that it contained information about thousands of online gamblers, it was unsecured. As a result, data with customers information and deposits and withdrawals of several gambling sites was suddenly accessible for everyone. Among the gambling sites with leaked information were the following names:
Server information accessible for everyone
The type of server was an Elastisearch search engine, ZDNet explained. It’s usually installed on a secured international network. This network usually contains the most sensitive information of a company. However, information on this server could be seen by any person online. Suddenly the customers real names, home addresses, phone numbers and even account balances were visible for the entire world. Their IP addresses and information about bets wins, deposits, withdrawals and payments were leaked as well. Although the card details were partially redacted, there was enough information to make every customer vulnerable to extortion and/or fraud.
Who owns the casinos?
The online casinos that were mentioned above are owned by different companies. For example, Kahuna Casino and VIP Room are parted of the Mountberg company. Danguad Ltd owns Azur Casino, and is based in Cyprus. It uses the same building as Kahuna Casino and VIP Room. Easybet looks different at first. It’s owned by TGI Entertainment NV. It’s the only sports betting side of the list and looks unrelated to the other casinos. The interesting thing is that all these casino have a license in Curacao under the same license number, namely 1668/AZ. This number is owned by the Curacao eGaming company.
What is Curacao eGaming?
Curacao eGaming is one of the four master license holders on Curacao. This means that it gives sub-licenses to clients and provides the IT infrastructure that is needed to protect servers with important information. It delivers the infrastructure for GEO IP services, cloud storage, high-speed bandwith rates and private cloud servers as well. So if you summarize it, Curacao eGaming offers several solutions, supervision and consultancy to several online gambling sites. At least, it’s supposed to do so.
Not the first time there are problems
ZDNet took contact with individual online gambling companies and asked for a comment on the data leak. However, it did not receive a response. Interestingly enough, the server was taken offline really soon after. Back then ZDNet did not know about the link with Curacao eGaming. It’s not the very first time that there are problems with the safety and security of online gambling sites with a license on Curacao. In the nineties the Dutch Caribbean island was an early adopter of online gambling. It obtained a licensing jurisdiction in 1996, but in the past twenty years many people have accused it of not having a good checks and balances on its licensees.
Government of Curacao wants stricter
After the news became public, the members of Dutch parliament have asked questions about the trade in sub licenses by companies such as Curacao e-Gaming. Does it affect the international reputation of the island? Time will tell. It’s a fact that the government of Curacao has announced that it’s going to implement stricter regulations when it comes to online gambling. This is also a reaction to the conviction of former prime minister Gerrit Schotte. It was discovered that he accepted bribes from a land-based casino owner on Curacao, who had connections with the mafia. Schotte was sentenced to three years in prison for this offence.