Security Fears Over Australia’s NSW Cashless Gambling Pilot

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The long-anticipated pilot test of cashless gambling in Australia’s New South Wales had to be abandoned after the company behind the technology noticed unusual activity on the network.

The pilot was being run at the West Newcastle Leagues Club, and Banktech, the cashless payment provider, has said it detected a data breach that may have left the data of at least 40 club members compromised.

According to a test run by Aristocrat in partnership with Banktech, hackers accessed encrypted information relating to the digital wallets and bank accounts of club members. However, a spokesperson for Aristocrat said that while some information will have been obtained, the members’ personal data was still safe.

Banktech has also reached out to independent third parties in order to carry out a more thorough investigation. In the meantime, all the affected servers have been shut down, and Aristocrat has deactivated “all relevant digital wallet functionality” and “ended the digital wallet trial”.

The independent MP Alex Greenwich was quick to comment on the issue and said that he finds the timing very suspicious. He suggested that criminals were deliberately trying to undermine cashless technology so that they would be able to continue to launder money through New South Wales’ poker machines. At the same time, David Harris, the NSW Gaming and Racing Minister, said that the state’s cybersecurity units were also investigating.