Lottery operator Camelot has announced that 150 customer accounts have been affected by a hack that took place prior to Friday’s £14-million draw at 8.30pm.
The company has described the hack as ‘low level’ and has stressed that no money was stolen, and that the attackers only saw limited information. Camelot attributed the early discovery of the attack to its regular security monitoring which, in this case, detected suspicious activity on a small number of accounts.
The kind of hack that took place was a method known as 'credential-stuffing'. This hack uses a list of passwords taken from other websites that have been circulated online e.g. on hacking groups / on the dark web. This method relies on people using the same password for multiple websites.
Suspended Accounts + Change Passwords
Camelot has said that it has directly contacted the customers whose accounts had been affected and all of the affected accounts have now been suspended. The company has also advised all 10.5 million National Lottery players to change the password on their online accounts.
Warned In November 2016
Back in November 2016, Camelot announced that it believed that as many as 26,500 online National Lottery accounts had been hacked using login details that had been stolen from elsewhere (e.g. a list of stolen passwords circulated online). At the time, Camelot said that it believed that suspicious activity appeared to have taken place in fewer than 50 of the hacked accounts.
Camelot re-assured customers by saying that it didn’t hold full debit card or bank account details in the online accounts for National Lottery player, and no money had been taken or deposited.
Although, as in the latest hack, Camelot was quick to submit a breach report to The Information Commissioner's Office, some critics voiced concerns and suspicion that there could have been some kind of deficiency in the system to allow 26,500 correct logins while saying that the details were not taken from Camelot’s servers.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
If you have an online National Lottery account, change the password as soon as possible.
This story illustrates one of the main dangers of using the same passwords for multiple accounts. If there is a hack and theft of your login details from just one website, you could be in danger of falling victim to cyber-crime as those details are circulateing among other hackers and used for credential-stuffing attacks. The advice is, therefore, to change your passwords regularly and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
This story is also a reminder that businesses have a legal responsibility to protect customer data, and this responsibility will be enforced even more rigorously, and with the threat of very large fines for non-compliance with the introduction of GDPR in May this year.
One positive aspect of this story is that Camelot appear to have been proactive in their monitoring of customer account activity, were quick to inform the Information Commissioner's Office, publicly announced the hack, and gave clear advice to customers (unlike many other companies). This story is also an example of why having a good Disaster Recovery Plan is important.