A quarter of all gambling sites were hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks executed by botnets in June, according to a new report by cybersecurity company Imperva.
The figures suggest DDoS attacks increased and impacted one in 10 (10%) gambling sites in conjunction with the beginning of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
The timing of DDoS attacks being launched during major sporting events is quite common, according to Imperva, as they drive customers away from their preferred platforms and towards competitor sites, which can compound the lost revenue.
The cybersecurity experts spotted a similar trend during the delayed Euro 2020 tournament (attacks by bots spiked 96% compared to the month before the tournament). This was particularly prevalent when the England men's team played (account takeover attempts were two-three-times higher than average).
“For gambling firms, even an hour of downtime can equate to significant amounts of lost revenue,” explained Yuriy Arbitman, data scientist at Imperva.
“If a company generates, say, £1bn in revenue per year then a sustained DDoS attack means they’re losing approximately £115K per hour – more if it comes during a particularly popular event like Wimbledon.”
The June numbers demonstrate a continuing, wider pattern for the industry, with 40% of gambling sites suffering attacks in the last 12 months, 80% of which were hit multiple times.
Overall, the number of DDoS attacks against all businesses was more than three-times higher in Q2 than in Q1 2022, with more than half (55%) of the surveyed firms being hit multiple times over the three-month period.
“Businesses need to be able to identify and mitigate a DDoS attack in seconds,” Arbitman concluded. “Online businesses need always-on DDoS protection, not just for website domains but across all APIs, applications, and across the entire network infrastructure.”