Cyber hackers crippled the computer network of the giant Las Vegas Sands Corp, headed by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, to punish him for saying that Iran should be bombed if it cannot be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The attack occurred last February but was not publicized until BusinessWeek exposed it in its new edition dated next week.
Las Vegas Sands refused to comment.
The hackers sent Las Vegas Sands engineers scrambling to the casino floor underneath their offices to yank out network cords from computers.
Businessweek’s investigation of the cyber-attack revealed that Las Vegas Sands computer engineers concluded that attackers, who wiped out several hard drives with a malware virus, did not tap into the computer system to steal money but were carrying out an act of revenge for Adelson’s anti-Iran remarks at Yeshiva University in 2013. There are strong suspicions that the cyber attack originated in Iran.
In his remarks at the Yeshiva University panel discussion on “Will Jews Exist?” Adelson, an open supporter of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and right-wing Republicans, said about Irene’s nuclear development:
What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, ‘Listen. You see that desert out there? I want to show you something.’
[After dropping a nuclear bomb on an Iranian desert,] “Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.’
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded after two weeks later and said that the American government “should slap these prating people in the mouth and crush their mouths.”
That was in October 2013.
Two months later, according to BusinessWeek, the hackers took action and attacked the Las Vegas Sands’ IT network, only the second known incident of trying to destroy a corporation. The other attack was last month on Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The hackers continued their attacks last January when they attacked a huge slot machine casino and resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The malware attack wiped out data on computers and servers and erased hard drives.
The attack worsened in February, and the company was forced to disconnect its servers from the Internet to protect itself from worse damage, but there was no interference with activities of Las Vegas Sands hotel guests and casino players.
The hackers also hit Las Vegas Sands’ websites and posted images of flames on one of Sands’ American casinos and also posted a warning, “Encouraging the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, UNDER ANY CONDITION, is a Crime.”
They also left a personal message for Adelson: “Damn A, Don’t let your tongue cut your throat.”
The attack on Las Vegas Sands was an act of war. Bringing a country to its knees can be done a lot more efficiently and without deaths by using cyber attacks instead of bombs.
Last month, the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures leaked company secrets and personal information, and security experts suspect the perpetrators are a group that is working for the North Korean regime, whose nuclear capacity could wipe out the West and which is working hand-in-hand with Iran.
North Korea might be upset at Sony for its new project called ”The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader.
North Korea would “mercilessly destroy anyone who dares hurt or attack the supreme leadership of the country, even a bit,” a government spokesman has stated.