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Iran behind Las Vegas casino hack attack

James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, has identified Iran as being behind the cyber attack against a Las Vegas casino which happened more than a year ago.

The attack against Las Vegas Sands Corp. casino, which took place on 10 February 2012, crippled the casino’s IT infrastructure that runs the $14 billion (£9 billion) operation.

Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that the attack by Iran marked the first destructive cyber-assault on the U.S. by nation-states, Bloomberg reports (opens in new tab).

“While both of these nations have lesser technical capabilities in comparison to Russia and China, these destructive attacks demonstrate that Iran and North Korea are motivated and unpredictable cyber-actors,” Clapper said.

He also said that the cyber threat from Russia is “more severe than we have previously assessed.”

“Rather than a ‘cyber-Armageddon’ scenario that debilitates the entire U.S. infrastructure, we envision something different,” Clapper said in a report on global threats submitted to the Senate committee. “We foresee an ongoing series of low-to-moderate level cyber-attacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.”

The hack attack brought the casino’s IT systems down, including email, but the most valuable components of the organisation remained intact.

The gambling giant said at the time that punters' credit card details were safe.

Bloomberg writes that the Las Vegas Sands casino was the target because of its CEO, Sheldon Adelson, a public supporter of Israel.

During the attack, hackers placed a photo of Adelson socialising with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.