Security

UK National Lottery Hit By Peak-Time DDoS Attack

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The National Lottery’s website and mobile app were taken offline for 90 minutes, blocking last-minute online ticket sales

The UK National Lottery has confirmed a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) was behind an outage that took its website and mobile application offline for more than an hour during peak time on Saturday evening.

The attack ran from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The lottery closes ticket sales on Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., meaning users were left unable to buy last-minute tickets on the day.

national-lottery-lotto

Last-minute outage

The lottery confirmed the incident lasted for about 90 minutes.

“Unfortunately, as experienced by many companies, the website was subject to a DDoS incident for around 90 minutes from 6pm,” said a spokesman for lottery operator Camelot.

 

It isn’t known whether a ransom was demanded or whether attackers threatened further attacks. Camelot didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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Camelot was hit by a previous attack in November of last year, when hackers accessed information on 26,000 online Lotto accounts.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, during the incident, Camelot said on Twitter that “many players” were left unable to access the National Lottery website or mobile app, but said retailers were unaffected.

DDoS attacks are generally launched from networks of computers whose users have unwittingly downloaded malicious code, with a recent trend seeing attacks launched from internet-connected devices including Android handsets and tablets.

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