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Iranian Hackers Bring Down Website of World's Largest Casino

Hackers target a company owned by pro-Israel Jewish businessman Sheldon Adelson, apparently over his criticism of Iran.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/12/2014, 3:43 PM

Cyber security
Cyber security
Reuters

A website owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp, the world’s largest casino, was vandalized Wednesday by hackers who were apparently targeting CEO Sheldon Adelson over his criticism of Iran’s nuclear program, Bloomberg reports.

The hackers temporarily took over the home page of the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and posted what appeared to be criticism of Adelson’s comments on Iran. “Don’t let your tongue cut your throat. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any conditions, is a crime,” they wrote.

Adelson is known as a strong supporter of Israel, and has urged a strong response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The reference was apparently to Adelson’s past statements suggesting a military strike to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

The unidentified hackers also posted personal information about employees, including email addresses and social security numbers.

Several other websites owned by Sands Corp were not functioning Tuesday evening, according to the report. The American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly aware of the situation.

In an October appearance at Yeshiva University, Adelson told the audience how he would handle the Iran crisis if he were President: "What I would say is, ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ You pick up your cell phone, even at…roaming charges. You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’ So there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.

"And then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.’"

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei reacted with anger to Adelson's comments, and said: “If Americans are telling the truth that they are serious about negotiation, they should slap these prating people in the mouth and crush their mouths.”

 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned in 2013 that Iran had stepped up its cyber-attacks on Israel. Two weeks ago hackers reportedly succeeded in breaking into a Defense Ministry computer.