UPDATE: As of late Wednesday night, William Hill’s websites remain offline. Sounding more than a little defeated, the company’s official Twitter feed could offer only the following: “We’re calling it a day but we know it’s not been our best. Techies will be working through the night & Live Chat will answer your queries.”
UK bookmaker William Hill is struggling to reboot its website following a “sophisticated’ distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Tuesday.
The Williamhill.co.uk website went dark Tuesday afternoon, preventing bettors from placing wagers on the evening’s UEFA Champions League matches featuring Arsenal and Manchester City. The company said the site had been laid low following a “sophisticated” DDoS attack by unspecified “third parties.”
The company claimed that while “the attempt at disruption is ongoing,” its technical teams were able to restore services by Tuesday night. However, Hills’ official Twitter feed later confirmed that “we’ve got some services back but we’re still not at 100%.” As of Wednesday afternoon, the company says connectivity remains “intermittent.”
For the moment, Hills is directing customers to use its betting app, while reassuring customers that the site’s problems do not extend to any “security related issues.”
Hills issued a statement saying the attack on its website followed “a significant increase in DDoS activity experienced by a number of online companies over recent weeks.” Last month, a major DDoS attack targeted servers operated by the US-based Dyn, causing worldwide outages for users of Twitter, Reddit, Netflix and other major online firms.
The Dyn outage was the latest in a series of mammoth DDoS attacks utilizing a new botnet comprising hundreds of thousands of Internet of Things devices such as security cameras, digital video recorders and the like. The source code for the Miral botnet was posted online in late September, equipping countless malicious actors with significant new capabilities for online mayhem.
Online gambling remains a top focus of DDoS attacks, and sportsbooks are particularly tempting targets, given their reliance on increased wagering activity surrounding sporting events, the time and date of which are publicized well in advance. Suffice it to say, this 2017 Super Bowl will prove a trying time for sportsbook security teams.