The DDoS Attack on UK National Lottery

Earlier this year in April, the UK National Lottery experienced a crash in the system during a draw an that prevented the sales of tickets online for up to an hour and a half. The issues had affected both the website of UK National Lottery and the mobile app.

What caused the problem was a DDoS attack which is a step further from a DoS attack. DoS stands for Denial of Service, and it is used to target a single system. The attack that the UK National Lottery experienced was a Distributed Denial of Service and that an attack on a chain of systems which prevents the owner from using it in any way. The issues are most commonly caused by a Trojan virus, and it is nearly unstoppable as Trojan viruses can be very difficult to detect.

The operator of the UK National Lottery Camelot Group issued a public apology for the inconvenience which prevented people from buying lottery tickets and also forced the draw operations to stop. The company confirmed that the problem was indeed a Distributed Denial of Service. The attack happened on a Saturday during the peak hours of lottery ticket sales. Many companies have been a victim to such kinds of attacks which not only inconvenience the public, but it also makes the company lose some profit as well.

Camelot Group has been the operator of the UK National Lottery since May 2001 by the National Lottery Commision. In March 2010 the business of Camelot Group was purchased by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and so the Canadian company became the parent of the Camelot Group.

In June earlier the year, Camelot Group reported that the game has dropped in popularity by 8.8 percent. Because of that decrease, Camelot Group has been reviewing the strategy of the game as well as its structure as it is now. Over the past years, there have been many new competitors such as Lottoland for example. The casino industry is quite competitive, and it has only been growing in businesses over the past few years. Prior to the decrease in lottery tickets sales, the UK National Lottery had sales amounting to £7.59 billion as estimated in 2015. During 2016 and 2017 so far, the sales have fallen to £6.92 billion. That calls for a rework of strategy as well as a few more changes to the UK National Lottery so that it can experience an increase.

The DDoS attack started at 6 pm and went on for about an hour and a half. During that time the tech team of the UK National Lottery was unable to counteract the problem fast enough in order to restore the sale of lottery tickets on the website and the mobile app. Fortunately, however, the retailers of the UK National Lottery were left unaffected by the DDoS attack. The UK National Lottery has 46 000 external retailers through which the ticket sale was still going as per usual. The UK National Lottery apologies for the inconvenience of the players which were affected on their Twitter account.

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