The gambling company’s online operation fell victim to a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, or a type of cyber attack that aims at preventing websites from functioning in a proper manner by flooding them with excess traffic.
Gambling operator William Hill confirmed that it was subjected to a severe cyber attack that crashed its website on Tuesday. Online gambling customers could not place their bets on that day and although the company said on Wednesday that servers had been restored, service was still intermittent
William Hill’s website went down on Tuesday when UEFA Champions League fixtures were played, which would certainly result in considerable losses for the company. Gambling operators are particularly alluring for such attacks as their operations rely heavily on increased betting activity immediately before and during major sports events, especially given the fact that their exact time and date are known long before they take place.
William Hill has become yet another big company to see its website down over the past several weeks. Late last month, DNS provider Dyn was a victim of a complex DDoS attack that resulted in multiple popular websites, with Twitter, Spotify, and SoundCloud being few of them, being knocked offline. Generally speaking, Dyn and other similar DNS providers act as connectors between URLs users type in their browsers and the IP addresses that correspond to what is typed.
Late on Wednesday, William Hill Help, the gambling operator’s customer support team, said on its Twitter page that the operator’s tech team would continue working on solving the problem through the night. According to later reports, there were still certain problems with connecting to the website. William Hill has been directing players to its mobile app throughout the past several days.
The gambling operator has been making the headlines lately with a profit warning issued in March and two failed merger and acquisition deals. The company said that its full-year profits would slide to £260-280 million on poor Cheltenham festival results and its online division’s continued underperformance. William Hill rejected two bids from fellow gambling companies The Rank Group and 888 Holdings in August, and walked out of a potential merger deal with PokerStars owner, Amaya, a month and a half later. The operator said that it would continue exploring M&A opportunities, so we may be hearing more of it in the weeks and months to come.