A year after a cyberattack at the Cowboys Casino in Calgary, hackers have leaked personal information about hundreds of patrons and staff.
Thousands of documents purportedly containing everything from payouts to gambling habits were leaked to the data-sharing website Pastebin over the weekend.
In June 2016, Cowboys Casino announced they had suffered a personal data breach, sending out notifications to over 14,000 customers, clients and staff to notify them they could be victims.
“A year ago, Cowboys was hacked, and now what’s happened is that data is resurfacing,” University of Calgary computer security expert Tom Keenan said. “People really need to be worried because it’s very, very potent information that can be used for identity theft.”
“Casinos get an amazing amount of information on people,” he added. “They get their driver’s license, winnings… because of financial tracking rules they build a database of that.”
The hackers are threatening to release more data next week if changes to the casino’s security aren’t made.
“It looks like somebody wanted them to have better security and said to them ‘beef up your security’ – and they have a security company – and they said ‘yup we did, it’s beefed up.’ Whoever it is doesn’t believe that, and wants to catch their attention.”
“Somebody out there has a real hate-on for this casino – and just the like the Sony pictures thing, where they released a lot of emails, it looks like they’re going to be releasing emails too.”
Calgary police are investigating the breach. Staff Sgt. Cory Dayley encouraged people to be vigilant about the type of information they’re willing to share with any company.
“Don’t give it out unless it’s absolutely essential to the service that you’re seeking,” he said. “We don’t need to be giving out every personal detail to people in regards to our phone number, home address, social insurance number – stuff like that.”
“Your most private, personal information — we should keep it like it’s money. Keep it in the bank unless it really has to be given out.”
He also advised asking companies how they use your personal information and how they store it prior to giving it to them.
Cowboys Casino declined to comment.
With files from Gary Bobrovitz