Expert Group Established to Combat Gambling Cyber Threats

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has announced the creation of a new expert group to help its members coordinate their efforts to combat cyber security threats. The idea is for members of EGBA to share information with one another about the latest attacks targeting gambling websites, work together to track incidents, identify and patch security vulnerabilities, and implement best practices.

Professional cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to gambling websites, and they use a range of advanced techniques to try to access player accounts in order to steal money and customer data. Imperva, a cyber security firm, has said that automated cyber threats made up 28% of all global traffic to gambling websites in 2020. The number of attacks increases during major sporting events, and during the European football championships, attacks increased 96% year-on-year, with UK and German operators targeted in particular. According to EGBA, in 2019, its members prevented at least 550 major cyber-attacks against European websites.

The attacks vary in their methodology; they include Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks (DDoS), which aim to flood a website with traffic so that it slows down, which can be particularly problematic for live sports betting. There are also Account takeover attacks, with hackers seeking to gain access to players’ accounts, odds scraping, promotion abuse, and credit card fraud.

The new group will work to improve cooperation between EGBA members and support their active, early detection and responses to cyber threats. The group is to be made up of cyber security experts from EGBA members, and the nature and amount of information to be shared has been established through a Memorandum of Understanding. Recently, the EGBA also gave recommendations to members of the European Parliament for the proposed Digital Services Act.

Maarten Haijer - EGBA Secretary General

We have launched this expert group to encourage and establish a much-needed platform for cross-industry cooperation on cybersecurity issues. Cybercriminals are increasingly determined and sophisticated in their efforts to try to hack into gambling websites to steal customer data and money. Cyber threats tend to be cross-border in nature, affect operators in the same ways, and are a common threat to the industry. That’s why it is crucially important that operators work closer together to strengthen cyber security protocols and procedures, find common solutions to the latest threats and security vulnerabilities, and implement the highest security standards.

Maarten HaijerEGBA Secretary General

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