Security breach reason for shutdown of Playnow.com

Officials admit that 134 player accounts were exposed

As the debacle that is British Columbia’s attempt to launch an online gambling site (see previous InfoPowa reports) enters its sixth day with the site still down, British Columbia Lottery Corporation officials revealed Tuesday that the shutdown was prompted by a security breach that exposed 134 player accounts.

In a statement Tuesday, company officials said that when PlayNow.com was launched last week as the first government-sanctioned online casino in North America, 134 accounts were left exposed and open to any other player to access.

Twelve of the accounts had “a measure of sensitive personal information viewed by another player,” officials added, giving no further details.

As at Wednesday morning, the Playnow.com website remained down, bearing the advisory:

“PlayNow.com is Currently Unavailable. We are experiencing technical difficulties and are working to correct the matter.

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause you.
“If you have not been contacted by BCLC, your account has not been impacted.”

The statement assured users of the site that all players who were affected by the breach have been contacted.

The Vancouver Sun newspaper noted that BCLC officials initially said the website crashed because of unexpectedly high traffic overloading the server.

The newspaper reports that last Friday, BCLC vice-president of corporate affairs Kevin Gass said the site was taken down because of heavy traffic that lead to “slowness” on the site.

He said the company had taken the site off-line only to “err on the side of caution.”

In the latest BCLC statement, the company says that PlayNow.com will be restored “when a solution is implemented that meets the highest levels of player protection and receives third party approval and regulatory certification.”

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