Data thieves peddle their wares to casinos both online and brick-and-mortar

TAGs: Caesars Entertainment, data theft, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Maryland, Maryland Live!, South Korea

horseshoe-baltimore-maryland-live-korea-data-thievesPolice in South Korea have made 16 arrests following one of the biggest online data heists in the country’s history. A 24-year-old man named Kim was arrested last week and charged with the circulating 220m pieces of personal information belonging to 27m South Koreans, representing 72% of the country’s population between 15 and 65 years old. Use (and misuse) of the data is believed to have earned the perpetrators billions of won (KRW 1b = US $1m).

Kim obtained the data from a variety of sources, including a Chinese hacker he met during an online game in 2011. Korea Joongang Daily reported that Kim also purchased data from a cellphone retailer in Daegu. Kim originally used the data to steal virtual goods from gamers, items he then sold to other gamers for a combined KRS 400m. Kim also sold the data to other interested parties, including unidentified online gambling sites, who reportedly paid up to KRW 300 per item. In 2011, an even bigger heist of a popular social network and search engine netted 35m South Korea residents’ data.

A smaller scale data theft is spoiling Tuesday night’s launch of Maryland’s new brick-and-mortar casino. Helena Wong (pictured, apparently after the admission of some steroidal agents), a former VIP host at the Maryland Live! casino, quit her job after six months to take a position at Caesars Entertainment’s brand spanking new Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The market-leading Maryland Live! has accused Wong of taking more than just a stapler or a box of pens on her way out the door, saying she made off with a list of their top 1,000 high-rolling gambling whales.

The lawsuit alleges that Wong sent many of these big spenders an email on Aug. 20 inviting them to contact her if they’d like to visit the Horseshoe. Wong reportedly followed that up the next day with a second email telling readers that her communication with them was “confidential” and they should “not repeat or show this email to any of Maryland Live’s personnel.”

Wong’s former employer says continued behavior of this sort will cause them “irreparable harm,” which apparently translates to a minimum of $75k in damages. A US district judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Wong, who has a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for Friday. The Horseshoe casino is not named as a defendant in the federal case.


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